Ginger cake is the traditional accompaniment to a cold night watching the Fireworks. There is a good recipe in Markham’s The English Housewife of 1683. But I’m suggesting you use this recipe from the Guardian for Parkin Cake. Traditional in Yorkshire.
Collecting for the Bonfire would continue:
A stick and a stake
For King George’s sake
Will you please to give us a faggot
If you won’t give us one, we’ll steal you two
The better for we and the worse for you.
Children create a ‘Guy’ named after Guy Fawkes who was discovered on 5th November in a cellar under Parliament by a pile of barrels of gunpowder. The children take the guys around collecting money to buy fireworks. When I was young we spent our money exclusively on ‘bangers’ not pretty fountains and candles nor rockets. One stunt was to cycle through the streets and to put a banger into the handle bars which would act as a rocket launcher.
Today is dedicated to hunting gods such as Herne, the Horned God, Cernunnos and Pan.
Herne the Hunter first appears in Shakespeare:
There is an old tale goes, that Herne theWilliam Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 4, scene 4
(sometime a keeper here in Windsor Forest)
Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg’d horns;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner.
You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Receiv’d, and did deliver to our age
This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth.
But he is linked to the Forest God, the Horned One, the Green Man and the Celtic God Cernunnos. This name Cernunnos comes from karnon which means “horn” or “antler”, and may be the source of the name ‘Cerne’. (note that the Cerne Abbas Giant has just been redated from the Celtic to 17th Century.)