I bet that if you tapped someone on the shoulder and asked why we celebrate Guy Fawkes Day or Night, they would not be able to give the actual reason. According to Wikipedia, it started way back in 1605. The people of London, celebrated the fact that King James I survived an attempt on his life – by the Gunpowder Plot – by lighting bonfires. The person arrested as part of this Gunpowder Plot was Guy Fawkes.
So now, many years later, after having been carried across the sea by the settlers and contorted into a money-making and noise-making affair, it is still observed by many. Do we really need to? Should this antiquated and so far-removed from our South African history observance still take place? Here are some of the reasons why I believe we should stop it:
- Not a part of our SA history. It was brought here by the colonists. Maybe the #feesmustfall and #decoloniseSA people should take note of this!
- Despite the designated areas, fireworks are still being set off in residential areas – which is illegal https://www.capetown.gov.za/en/FireAndRescue/Pages/Fireworkscelebrations.aspx
- Animals have a much more keen sense of hearing than we do. What – to us – may sound like a dull thud far off probably makes an animal think it’s in a war zone. Remember, they are not aware of the rituals we humans make use of, so this comes out of the blue for them. Also, consider the wild animals, not just our pets.
- People are literally taking their money and lighting it on fire! In our current economic crisis with Pravin’s imminent arrest and all the other melodrama our government has landed us in, is this really what people want to do?
- It has the potential to be quite dangerous.
- Think of all that litter from burst fireworks flying around, causing blocked drains, dirty beaches etc.
I urge you to speak to the people you know and make them see how senseless this observance is. Remind them that discharge of fireworks outside a designated area is punishable by law.
Useful numbers to call:
Illegal sale or use of fireworks: Metro Police 0860765423 or SAPS 10111
Reporting a fire: 107 or 021 480 7700
SPCA Inspectorate for distressed animals: 083 326 1604
More info on designated sites (Sunrise Beach is NOT a designated site this year!) http://ewn.co.za/2016/10/24/Cape-officials-approve-designated-sites-for-discharge-of-fireworks