Fireworks London
Firework displays will light up the London skyline on Guy Fawkes nightReuters

Fantastic firework displays will light up Britain's skies this week for Guy Fawkes night, as bonfires are lit and sparklers burned in remembrance of Guy Fawkes' part in the failed "Gunpowder Plot" of 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

Events for Bonfire night are taking place all across the capital throughout the week, with sparklers, food markets and funfairs, as well as live music and child-friendly entertainment. Click here for our pick of the best firework displays in London.

Here are some fun facts you might not know about 5 November:

● Up until 1959, it was illegal to not celebrate Bonfire Night in Britain.

● There was an exception to the law, as St Peter's School in York where Guy Fawkes attended still refuses to burn effigies of its former pupil.

● Parkin is a sticky gingerbread cake traditionally eaten on Guy Fawkes night, baked with syrup and black treacle.

● Guy Fawkes was not hung, drawn and quartered, as per the traditional death for traitors in 17th century England. As he waited for his punishment, Fawkes leapt to his death to avoid having his testicles cut off, his stomach opens and his guts removed. Instead, he died of a broken neck and his body was subsequently quartered.

● The very first fireworks display in England took place at the wedding of Henry VII in 1486.

● While the 36 barrels of gunpowder would have been enough to destroy Parliament, some still claim the gunpowder was too old and would not have properly exploded if ignited.

● Between 600CE and 900CE, Chinese alchemists accidentally stumbled upon the crude recipe for gunpowder –potassium nitrate, sulphur and charcoal. In the 1830s, Italian pyrotechnicians invented the aerial shell for fireworks and also worked out that using metallic powders could create specific colours.

● The cellar that Fawkes tried to blow up was destroyed by a fire in 1834 that also destroyed the medieval Houses of Parliament.

● Sparklers can get five times hotter than cooking oil and a rocket can reach speeds of 150mph.

● You see the explosion of a firework before hearing it because sound travels at 761mph, but light travels at 671,000,000mph.