It's Bonfire Night, which means superb firework displays, toasty bonfires and spectacular sparklers! The tradition of Bonfire Night dates back to 1605, when Guy Fawkes mastered a plot to blow up King James I and his government on November 5th, leading to his subsequent arrest and execution, along with that of his followers.
These days, we remember the event by setting off fireworks and lighting bonfires to burn the "Guy"- a kind of totemic figure that represents Fawkes.
Here at Gadget Inspector, we thought we'd celebrate by telling you 5 things you didn't know about Bonfire Night.
The origin of fireworks:
Fireworks were first invented in the 10th century, by a Chinese cook who accidentally mixed three common kitchen ingredients - potassium nitrate, sulphur and charcoal. The cook then set this crazy concoction alight, resulting in a burst of colourful flames. The cook also noticed that if the mixture was burned inside a hollow bamboo shoot, there was a tremendous explosion following its ignition.
We've made some spectacular kitchen blunders in the past, but nothing quite like that...
The first fireworks in Britain:
The first recorded fireworks in Britain, were those at the wedding of King Henry VII in 1486. They increased in popularity during the reign of Henry VIII, and by Elizabethan times (1558-1603) there was even a fireworks master! Queen Elizabeth I created this post, with the intention that someone would be in charge of organising firework displays for great occasions.
I bet he/she was the coolest person in town!
It used to be illegal NOT to celebrate it:
Up until 1959, it was illegal not to celebrate Bonfire Night in Britain. The only exception to this rule was St. Peters School in York, which Guy Fawkes attended as a student. To this day, St. Peters refuse to celebrate Bonfire Night as a mark of respect for their former pupil.
Let's drop some science!
There's just something about drawing your name in the air with a sparkler, that turns adults into children again. Don't lie, we know you all enjoy doing it! But, sparklers can become incredibly hot, with some even reaching temperatures of up to 2000 degrees Celsius! That's more than 15 times the boiling point of water! Some seriously hot stuff!
Also, have you ever wondered why you see the explosion of a firework before hearing it? Well, wonder no more! This is due to the fact that light travels a lot quicker than sound. Sound travels about 761 mph, whereas light travels at 671,000,000 mph, which is roughly the speed you rush home at when you see you have 9 missed called from your mother.
The Most Fireworks used in a display:
The title for the most fireworks used in a single display goes to the Norwegians, who used a whopping 540,382 fireworks! This included 15,272 fireworks that were discounted because they didn't light. The Firework display lasted for one and half hours, which just about trumps the regular display you get in your back garden!
Everyone here at Gadget Inspector hopes you have a great and safe Bonfire Night!