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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Wicker Man and Guy Fawkes

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas NOVEMBER. 05, 2020

[92-365] 5th. November 2020- Today is the 5th November and possibly for the first time ever, apart from maybe during the war there will be no bonfires or fireworks.

A natural progression from my last wicker post happened by accident this morning. I went outside to put some flower bulbs in the ground, (maybe also symbolic as planting for next years crop?) a job I don't enjoy. I do enjoy it months later though when they suddenly appear from nowhere after you had forgotten about them. While out in the garage I discovered my other half had cut up our old laundry basket repurposing some as kindling and a bottle recycling container.

I suddenly had the idea of making a real wicker man from some real wicker, and then putting him in my wood burner tonight as a sort of Guy Fawkes substitute.

As you can probably tell I am very good with my hands and an expert with secateurs. Seriously though, he does look vaguely wicker man... ish so I was quite pleased.

What interests me about Guy Fawkes night is the fact that so many similar festivals happen at the same time of year that on the surface have no connection but when you analyse them there seems to be a common thread.

You have Halloween, Harvest Festival, Guy Fawkes Night, Thanksgiving all happening seasonally at the end of summer and going into winter. Halloween involves carving the head of a man out of a pumpkin and putting fire inside, Guy Fawkes involves setting fire to an effigy of a man and giving thanks, Guy Fawkes was instituted as a Thanksgiving festival, American Thanksgiving is obvious. In England we have Harvest Festival which involves Corn Dollies, small effigies woven out of straw, which is the equivalent of American Thanksgiving, offerings of food are also brought into the church and displayed.

It does make me wonder if all of these originate from the same ancient beliefs and superstitions which evolve over time into subtly different festivals.

The general theme seems to be thanks for a good harvest and offerings or sacrifices for a safe winter.

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