Although the British do not celebrate the 4th of July, they sure do know how to put on a fireworks display.
Guy Fawkes night is held always on the 5th of November.
Many Catholics were persecuted under the reign of Elizabeth I. They were hoping for respite after she died and James I came to power. His mother was Catholic so Catholics were hoping that he would be a Catholic sympathizer. The Catholics were mistaken and grew increasingly disgruntled by the treatment that they were receiving. So much so that 13 men took the decision to try to blow up the House of Parliament in what has come to be known as the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
The goal of this plot was to kill the king and the members of parliament that were persecuting the Catholics. As the plans developed, some of the conspirators became concerned about the innocent victims that would be hurt or killed so much so that one of them wrote a letter warning a friend to avoid the Houses of Parliament on the 5th. The king found out and decided to catch them in the act. Guy Fawkes was discovered in the cellar with 36 barrels of gunpowder. He was tortured and killed. If you watch the movie, V for Vendetta, you will understand as it is based on this event.
On Bonfire night, you will see fireworks, bonfires and the burning of effigies.
I go to the one in Cambridge with my in-laws. We stand on the opposite side of the river to watch. Cambridge is very busy so expect VERY heavy traffic on this day so get in early! There are displays all over the country so keep your eye out for a poster for one near you.
All the Best!
American to Britain