Bamboo blowing tradition  and Guy Fawkes Day
November 1, 2013
Bamboo blowing tradition and Guy Fawkes Day

by Carlos Williams Fri Nov 01, 2013


Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day and Bonfire Night, is an annual commemoration observed on November 5, primarily in Great Britain. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was caught guarding explosives placed beneath the House of Lords and arrested. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.{{more}}

The Tradition in St Vincent

Because St Vincent and the Grenadines was once colonised by the British, a number of the British traditions were practised and still continue in the twin island state, even though the country became an independent state in 1979. Some traditions which continue up to today are tea drinking and tea parties, bamboo blowing and bonfires, as part of the Guy Fawkes celebration, the English language, furniture making and designs, Christmas and Easter holiday celebrations, denominations (Anglican, Catholic and Salvation Army), along with the parliamentary system which recognises the Queen as the crown and symbolic head of state.

Bamboo blowing is a technique used by mainly young males in November to represent/imitate the cannon, a powerful gun, which used an iron ball and gunpowder. Some of these guns could be seen at the Fort Charlotte and other places in St Vincent. The fun of blowing the bamboo comes from the competition to see who could have their bamboo making the loudest sound/shot. Other things used to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day include starlights and fireworks.


Bamboo blowing – Do’s

Parental supervision is necessary for children under 10 years of age
Use only kerosene in the bamboo
Keep your bamboo blowing away from flammable materials
Let your neighbours know that you will be blowing your bamboo, and for how long
Seek permission from your parents /guardian before blowing your bamboo
Break/cut open the bamboo after use (immediately or the next day)
Show respect for other people’s space

Bamboo blowing – Dont’s

Do not cut your bamboo longer than four joints
Do not blow your bamboo in the street or pointed at vehicles
Do not put gasoline in the bamboo
Do not blow into the hole of the bamboo if there are flames around it
Do not block the end of the bamboo with objects or hand
Do not discard the used bamboo in the drains
Do not walk around blowing the hot bamboo
Do not play games with the fire from the flambeau

Parental Support

Bamboo blowing is a tradition which assists with the socialisation, skill development, cooperation, dialogue, tolerance level, discipline, physical exercise and many more, of the youth who participate in such. You may not like some aspects of it, but children will be children and boys will be boys, so you should be a parent or adult who, instead of always knocking them, is there with them sometimes. Your presence may just make things a lot better.

Have an enjoyable Guy Fawkes Day/Night on Tuesday, November 5.