Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How Guy Fawkes Escaped the Pyre

My original plan was to make a bonfire on Guy Fawkes day and link it to its pagan origins. I wanted to make my effigy or "Guy" look like the masks that the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been wearing. I would add leaves and branches from the garden to refer back to the pagan traditions. They would also burn the bones of slaughtered livestock, but obviously I was not going that route.

A problem arose with my effigy. I did not really make an armature first, I couldn't think of good flammable material to use. So my guy looked a bit misshapen. His head was much bigger than his legs. He reminded me of a toddler mummy in a hospital gown. My beloved felt that the fallas effigy looked like a teenage girl. I could only imagine what my guy would inspire on the flames. I decided to keep him, with his missing arm and twisted leg and burn plants instead.

I skipped Guy Fawkes day altogether and planned the fire for Sunday which was the first day in winter time. I worked in the garden, preparing it for winter and raked up the leaves for the garden composter I bought. It is just visible behind the hydrangea.

I collected some amaranth, a few flowers and leaves, branches which fell during the hurricane.

The night came early and we lit the flame.

Although the plants were fresh, they caught on fire quickly.

The amaranth popped and sent sparks into the air.

The Guy watched from a safe distance.

The flames rose up high,

and then died down.

We sat in the heat of the flames and nursed our drinks (more of a Guy Fawkes day tradition, but a good one).


james jarvis said...

The burning of the guy fawkes image didn't have pagan origins.

A. Diderot said...

The pagans burned other things at the same time of year.