When we were kids there was a family across the street from my grans with two lads about the same age as me and our kid. They were Irish and Catholic, and different. We kids didn't understand the significance of that difference though so openly and naively asked each other things like what it was like to be a 'Proddy Dog' or what being Catholic meant. We also accepted the rants of Mick's and Rob's dad, sat on the sofa in his string vest shouting at the 70s news watching violence errupt on the streets of Northern Ireland.
But I never understood why their dad wouldn't allow them to come to bonfires or have anything to do with Bonfire night at all, even when he knew Nov 5th was my birthday.
Some things run deep in the veins of cultures, and it does us good to remember from time to time that our own country was once rife with religious persecution so bad that it drove a group of Englishmen to attempt to destroy the very foundation of the country's government by blowing it up in the famed Gunpowder Plot.
There won't be many people thinking about religious persecution on Bonfire Night as they stand around the cheery glow of a fire enjoying homely food treats. The actual traditions of fireworks and food have become so embedded in our culture many people have forgotten the religious bigotry that set it all off. I for one love black peas, potato pie supper and a good piece of Parkin.
Is that just a Northern England thing though - my spell checker has just underlined Parkin, and I'm positive that's how you spell it!
Just in case you need any help with your bonfire food, try this BBC Good Food Page - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/blog/224-bonfire-night/