CONCERN: Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on November 5, primarily in the UK. Picture: Jeffrey Abrahams/African News Agency (Archives)
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on November 5, primarily in the UK.

Its history begins with the events of November 5, 1605 - when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives that the coup plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords.

Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London; and months later, the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure

In days gone by, Guy Fawkes was celebrated without the worry or concern that there would be any consequences of casualties because of the use of fireworks.

However, in certain parts of South Africa, Guy Fawkes is celebrated differently even though, annually, the City of Cape Town informs the public of access to all sites designated for this purpose but, sadly, these areas are not utilized for that specific reason, much to the detriment of neighbourhood residents and their pets.

A few weeks prior to this event, fireworks are discharged, often illegally, in residential areas where children, as well as pets, are left traumatised and at times, maimed.

By now, we all know that fireworks are not to be sold by unregistered shop owners or to under-age children, yet this practice is ongoing - without consequences of fines or holding the perpetrators accountable.

During this time, notifications regarding the legalities surrounding the sale of fireworks are posted on numerous social media sites, with little or no action taken against parties who do exactly the opposite.

Lawless behaviour and sales are still carried out, irrespective of the forewarnings.

So, as we are on the cusp of Guy Fawkes, please be mindful to keep your children, pets and homes safe from fireworks that will be heard during the day and that will light up the sky at night.

In the words of Canadian actress, director and playwright Diane Grant: “It is better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction”.

* Riana Wentzel, Grassy Park.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily that of Independent Media.

Cape Argus