Good old Guido Fawkes. He didn't assassinate King James in 1604 and now we celebrate this non-event through blowing up small vials of gunpowder in remembrance of what didn't happen.
Whilst I am please King Jimmy lived on, I am concerned that this celebration which pertains to the British has not continued in the spirit that was intended.
The fountain of all knowledge -Wikipedia explains November 5th was to be a celebration of the king's escape "always provided that 'this testimony of joy be careful done without any danger or disorder'".
So why is it, year after year, humans and/or animals become victims of what is supposed to be a "joyous" celebration?
The danger and disorder of Guy Fawkes has marred its true purpose and I wonder….is the maiming of a life really worth it?
King James might have been saved from being struck by gunpowder, but Guy Fawke's has certainly had his way in many others' lives since. Take a trawl through google to find out, just type in "firework+burn".
There are many victories and non-disasters we could celebrate, is it time we change the meaning of November 5th?
How many more lives will it take for us to decide?
The history has swung around a few times over the 400 years. For that early period it began as a crime by Catholics and then became an anti- Catholic event fairly quickly. Now it is just an excuse to blow things up.
Australia banned the event in the mid 70's and while there are still big firework displays there especially NYE in Sydney it has not been a problem.
I think we should restrict fireworks to public displays under controlled situation the same way as they do in Australia.
In a conversation on the topic last night the banning of Guy Fawkes was seen as being too "PC" however I pointed out to the guy that the local zoo keepers and the fire brigade were grateful it was so wet last night.
And that despite the sale restrictions we still have "pipe bombs" and multiple fires and other health and safety breaches.
It has never made much sense to have explosives freely available to so many people. I compared it to gun control. In NZ we have public policy which controls firearms and a culture that mostly abides by that so not closing down Guy Fawkes doesn't make much sense to me.
I did like the Parihaka idea a few years back. Celebrate that instead of Guy Fawkes. If we want fireworks there is always Diwali, New years eve, Chinese New Years eve and plenty of other events that have more positive connotations to celebrate with fire.
If we're going to have fireworks, I'd be happier with doing it for Matariki - y'know, sometime when it gets dark early, the ground and foliage is usually damp, and less likely to catch fire...
I also feel strongly on this. I recommend the petition "Ban private use of fireworks and allow public display only in New Zealand by 2014 " on Change.org.