Two GPL Librarians in England, Post #2: Bonfire Night at Manchester

Bonfire Night at Heaton Park, Manchester

For Americans it’s Halloween, but for the English it’s Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night. 

Though Bonfire Night originated as a tradition of giving thanks for the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, when a group of Catholics led by a man named Guy Fawkes conspired to assassinate King James I, historians and anthropologists also find in the annual observance of Guy Fawkes parallels with the Celtic, or more exactly Gaelic, harvest festival of Samhain — which under Christian influence was later transformed into All Hallow’s Eve, or what we know as Halloween in the United States.

Anyway, on the evening of Friday, November 5th, Frank and I were able to participate in the Guy Fawkes celebrations held at Heaton Park in Manchester.  Thousands milled about the fairgrounds there enjoying rides and food, while others assembled on a hill above to watch a fine fireworks display followed by a bonfire during which an effigy of Guy Fawkes was burned.

Greensboro Public Library has got a couple of books on the history of Halloween, if you’re interested.  These are Nicholas Rogers’ Halloween:  From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, and David Skal’s Death Makes a Holiday:  A Cultural History of Halloween.

As I write, we’ve just started on the road to Humberside (the North Sea Coast) to visit Hull, our main object there being to see the William Wilberforce home and museum — Wilberforce of course being the English politician who fought relentlessly to abolish slavery in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Things to Do for Halloween 2010 in Greensboro

Well, once again it’s ghosts and goblins time, and lots of folks will be looking for something special to do in and around Greensboro — especially for the kids.

Here are some local Halloween activities I found during a quick web search:  

This Greensboro Parks & Recreation page tells about all the stuff associated with Goulash!

Greensboro Public Library has some programs for the Halloween season too.  Here are just a few of them:

  • Ghosts & Ghouls at Glenwood Branch (297-5000), Tues., Oct. 26 from 6:45-7:30 PM
  • Monster Mash Halloween Party, Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch (373-2923), Wed., Oct. 27 at 3:30 PM
  • Halloween Fun!  Halloween crafts, games & candy!  Vance Chavis Branch (373-5838), Oct. 27 from 4-5:30 PM
  • Halloween Special:  Are There Any Ghosts Here?  Stories and Crafts for Halloween!  Benjamin Branch (373-7540), Thurs., Oct. 28 from 7-8 PM  

There must be plenty of local Halloween events I have missed.  If you know of any others which should be added to the list, please comment.

Things to Do for Halloween in Greensboro

Well, it’s ghosts and goblins time here in Greensboro, and lots of folks will be looking for something special to do — especially for the kids.

Here are some local Halloween activities I found during a quick web search:  

Greensboro Public Library has some programs on Halloween too, including tales from master story teller Terry Bane.  Join us if you can.

There must be plenty I have missed.  If you know of any other Halloween events which should be added to the list, please comment.