Remember, Remember, The 5th of November

Spotlight See more photos of Westminster Palace by visiting the location pages for the Palace of Westminster, Houses of Parliament, and Westminster, London Tube stop. Watch Bonfire Night festivities unfold via the hashtags #bonfirenight and #guyfawkes.

Today is the 5th of November, also known in Great Britain as Guy Fawkes Night/Day and Bonfire Night. The day commemorates the events of 5 November 1605, when Protestant King James I survived a plot on his life. Guy Fawkes, an ardent Catholic, was arrested while guarding explosives he and his fellow Gunpowder Plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Londoners lit bonfires to celebrate the fact that King had survived, and the day was formally deemed a public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.

Britain’s Parliament – composed of the House of Lords and House of Commons – still meet in the Palace of Westminster along the river Thames in central London. A fire in 1834 destroyed the old, medieval palace that Fawkes was discovered in, but the new structure retains the same original style. The Elizabeth Tower, known to many by the name of its main bell, “Big Ben,” is perhaps the most iconic landmark in the United Kingdom and a popular spot for photographers.