Celebrated annually with few interruptions since Nov. 5, 1605, and as significant to the social fabric of the United Kingdom as Boxing Day, the 2016 installment of Bonfire Night witnessed U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump burned in effigy.
Filled with paper saturated with oil, an elaborate, 36-foot caricature of the New York businessman and presidential candidate was ignited by residents of the sleepy town of Edenbridge, Kent, on Saturday evening.
Citizens of the East Sussex community of Lewes also chose Mr. Trump for scorching.
Of his creation which went up in flames, artist Frank Shepherd quietly uttered: “I think he (Trump) would be amused.”
Nattily dressed in a business suit and accentuating his scattered hairstyle, Trump’s image was absent trousers; the residents of Edenbridge preferred to model the real estate mogul bearing undergarments resembling Mexican bandits.
In Mr. Trump’s grip was a panic-stricken likeness of presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.
A yearly observance since Guy Fawkes gained immortality for the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, the modern practice exercised nationwide often selects unpopular figures for incineration from around the globe. Residents also mark the day with bonfires and fireworks.
The chief villain in the notorious conspiracy to blow up Houses of Parliament in 1605 in the attempt to assassinate King James I, Fawkes is burned in yearly in effigy.
Although local societies authorize locals to choose the offering, and figures such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tsar Nicholas I, former PMs David Cameron and Tony Blair, Saddam Hussein have been selected in the past, Mr. Fawkes remains the most popular choice.
[Reuters] [Daily Mail] [Photo courtesy Reuters/Neil Hall via Japan Times]