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Warhammer 40K, Little thoughts: 5th November




Remember, remember the 5th of November.
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, the gunpowder treason,
Should ever be forgot.

Last night was Bonfire Night here in the UK. It's somewhat of a mirror universe American Independence Day, where things are similar but with wildly different meanings. In the US, when July 4th rolls around, everyone gets the barbecue out to enjoy Summer sun, with a great big fireworks display celebrating the birth of their nation. It's an event commemorating the overthrow of the British crown's rule.

Bonfire Night is where we ritualistically burn a traitor in effigy for trying to kill the King, with a great big fireworks display to celebrate the government not getting blown up.

See?

It's actually a really nice non-holiday. Like Halloween you don't get time off for it, and it's certainly not government sponsored, but it is something that everyone does and enjoys. Mulled cider (usually the alcoholic kind) sausages in buns with plenty of mustard, and basically anything hot to beat off the new Autumn nightly chill.

Local villages and schools will compete with their fireworks displays, and the whole country erupts in bright flashes. Buying fireworks is very much legal in the UK, and families will do their own fireworks in back gardens.

Very few people do the bonfire properly. Traditionally an old scarecrow or mannequin is burned on top, in effigy for the lead traitor Guy Fawkes. Burning a guy is not done these days, as it basically is burning someone at the stake. For some reason people get upset at this. I do not understand why, as Mr. Fawkes died a few centuries ago, and being upset on his behalf seems a little too late.

The little thought I had about Bonfire Night was this: What little non-Imperial mandated traditions are there in the 41st Millennium?

We have Sanguinala as being a somewhat Christmassy equivalent, but what about the small holidays such as Halloween and Bonfire Night?

I very much doubt Bonfire Night itself would make it through the Imperial Censors though. Whilst it may have started as a warning of what happens to traitors, it probably works best as a reminder of the British approach to government: traditionally anti-authoritarian, and making sure to keep the royalty in line. It's a contradiction, no doubt, to be determined to maintain an overlord, but keep them on a tight leash. It works though.

I doubt the Inquisition would agree, and such ideas would be stamped on in their infancy. So what do Imperial citizens have to look forward to, besides their weekly ration day? For that matter, what do the new regular folk of Age of Sigmar celebrate? They've barely got any history to go on, and for the majority most of it is being eaten by various creatures of Chaos.

Just a little thought. Hope you all had a good Bonfire Night weekend!

Thanks for reading.

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