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Remember, remember…why in November?

Nov 3rd, 2014 | By | Category: Latest News, News

A view of Guy Fawkes fireworks in Wellington Harbour

WELLINGTON LIGHTS UP: A view of Guy Fawkes fireworks in Wellington Harbour. Photo: Newsbie Pix

AN ICONIC Guy Fawkes fireworks display has notched up 20 years, but its connection with the notorious traitor is fast disappearing.

The annual Wellington fireworks display this Saturday night is now known as the Sky Show.

Richard Maclean, Wellington City Council media advisor, says the Guy Fawkes story is becoming increasingly irrelevant to young New Zealanders.

“When was the last time you saw young kids pushing a wheelbarrow around the streets with a ‘guy’ in it, and going door-to-door, asking for a ‘penny for the guy’,” he says.

Mr Maclean also acknowledges a nastiness with sectarian overtones in traditional Guy Fawkes celebrations, but says even that is fading over time.

The origin of Guy Fawkes dates back to November 5, 1605.

Guy Fawkes, one of a group of 12 men, tried to blow up Britain’s Houses of Parliament in an attempt to kill King James I.

The night became known as Bonfire Night, and the King’s survival was celebrated with bonfires, and later fireworks.

Mr Maclean says today’s Sky Show is a result of Guy Fawkes celebrations on November 5 1994, turning into chaos and mayhem in Wellington.

The Government subsequently banned skyrockets after they were used as weapons, causing injuries during that night.

He says the council then decided to host a free community fireworks display, so people wouldn’t feel the need to get their own fireworks.

In 2013, the fireworks were moved from the traditional November 5 date to a weekend, in an effort to be more family-friendly.

Suggestions for moving the fireworks to New Years Eve have previously been made with that debate likely to continue.

Mr Maclean says if the idea for a New Years fireworks display were to gather momentum the community would be involved in the discussion before a decision was made.

The fireworks will take place at 9pm on Saturday November 8 in Wellington Harbour.

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