On November 5, 1605, Catholic revolutionary Guy Fawkes was arrested while trying to bomb the Houses of Parliament in London, England. Guy Fawkes Day celebrates the failure of this “Gunpowder Plot” to overthrow the government of King James I.
 
Two hundred years later, folk rhymes about Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot described the events.
 
Remember, remember!
The fifth of November, 
The gunpowder, treason, and plot
I know of no reason 
Why the Gunpowder treason 
Should ever be forgot! 
Guy Fawkes and his companions 
Did the scheme contrive
To blow the King and Parliament 
All up alive. 
Threescore barrels, laid below, 
To prove old England's overthrow. 
But, by God's providence, him they catch, 
With a dark lantern, lighting a match! 
A stick and a stake 
For King James's sake! 
If you won't give me one, 
I'll take two, 
The better for me, 
And the worse for you. 
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope
A penn'orth of cheese to choke him, 
A pint of beer to wash it down, 
And a jolly good fire to burn him. 
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring! 
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King! 
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!
 
Although Guy Fawkes Day began as passionately anti-Catholic, today it is celebrated as a civic holiday. Fireworks and parties are common, as are bonfires where effigies of “the Guy” are burned. The reputation of Guy Fawkes himself has also been somewhat restored. Stylized representations of his face have become popular symbols of dissent around the world, most famously as masks worn by members of the hacktivist group Anonymous.
arrest
Verb

to take into legal custody.

bomb
Noun

explosive device, usually a projectile.

bonfire
Noun

large outdoor fire.

Catholic
Adjective

having to do with the Christian denomination with the Pope as its leader.

celebrate
Verb

to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

civic
Adjective

having to do with citizenship or public service.

contrive
Verb

to plan or scheme.

dissent
Verb

to disagree with the majority opinion.

effigy
Noun

sculptural representation of a disliked public figure.

failure
Noun

lack of success.

folk
Noun

style of music or art based on peasant or traditional culture.

government
Noun

system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

gunpowder
Noun

mixture of chemicals (potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur), used in weapons and fireworks, that explodes when ignited.

hactivist
Noun
person who gains unauthorized access to a computer system in order to pursue a political or social agenda.
parliament
Noun

legislature, usually a democratic government's decision-making body.

passionate
Adjective

enthusiastic and emotional.

plot
Noun

secret plan or scheme.

pope
Noun

leader of the Catholic Church.

providence
Noun

divine care and guidance.

representation
Noun

symbol of something.

reputation
Noun

estimation or value in which a person or thing is held.

restore
Verb

to renew or bring back to an earlier position or state of health.

revolution
Noun

overthrow or total change of government.

scheme
Noun

structure or diagram of the way information is studied, documented, and understood.

score
Noun

20 years.

stake
Noun

pointed stick.

stylize
Verb

to depict in a formal and nonrealistic style.

symbol
Noun

something used to represent something else.

treason
Noun

crime of planning to overthrow the government.