If you’re a Brit you must have noticed it – the massive promotion of the re-paganised and hideously commercialised Hallowe-en festival, coupled with the deliberate down-grading of the truly traditional Guy Fawkes Night.
Nor is this attack on British tradition limited to what is advertised on TV or in the supermarkets. The very name ‘Guy Fawkes Night’ has been swept from public view, with ‘Bonfire Night’ used almost exclusively as a way of removing all context, significance and history from the events that do continue.
And the Lewes Bonfire celebrations – one of the largest true folk festivals in the whole English year – has repeatedly been attacked. A few years ago it was the effigies that were burnt which were the target. Now it is the traditional dress.
More recently, revellers who ‘blacked up’ as Zulu warriors for the traditional Lewes Bonfire agreed to stop after a co-ordinated campaign of complaints by noisy leftists.
For many years, participants dressed up as spear-carrying Zulus to mark the occasion. But campaign group ‘Bonfire Against Racism’ called it a ‘racist act’ and asked the Borough Bonfire Society to ‘stop painting faces black’.
The killjoys’ petition calling for the practice to stop said: ‘The decision of a small fraction of the membership of Borough Bonfire Society to engage in the offensive practice of blacking up runs counter to the overall spirit of the event.
‘This public display of caricatured, negative stereotypes of black Africans within our community is racist and serves only to increase tension and division within our diverse community’.
This year, the downgrading of Guy Fawkes’ Night is continuing apace.
The only way to fight this sort of insidious attack on traditional events and identity is with conscious resistance. So start right now! If children in your family were set either to ignore Guy Fawkes Night, or to celebrate it without knowing what it is all about and how and why it started, step in, buy some extra fireworks, sort out a bonfire and educate them about this slice of their heritage!
Footage below from 1981