Remember, Remember the 5th of November
This is a story of religious repression, terrorism, treason, capture, torture and execution... my goodness, why on earth would a story like that have a place on the Happy Blog?? Well, because the British have turned it into a celebration!
Here are the basics (as I understand them): On Nov. 5th, 1605, Guy Fawkes was caught attempting to blow up the English Parliment (with King James I of England/VI of Scotland inside) in an attempt to restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. During his capture and subsequent torture, he divulged all the details of the Gunpowder Plot. To avoid his long and painful execution, Fawkes jumped off of the execution scaffolding and broke his neck.
More on the man himself here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes
Since then, England and Scotland have celebrated the night that the Parliment was not attacked and their King was not killed, November 5th. On this night, they light bonfires, and firworks and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes (think the V for Vendetta mask). Kids used to collect pennies and eat sausages, jacket potatoes and a variety of sweets.
More on the traditions here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes_Night
The bonfires and fireworks are still popular, and cities and towns hold large bonfires open to the public- or people host their own bonfires in their backyards. And foods like toffee apples and treacle toffee are shared. That's why... after this long and violent story, this celebration has made it on to my Happy Blog. What fun would it be to enjoy a large bonfire with your friends and community- while eating toffee apples and watching fireworks! That's gotta be happy!
(I also read that the first week of November was a popular time to host bonfire parties even before Guy Fawkes since it marks the half way point betweent he Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice- so if the whole Gun powder plot connection isn't appealing, you could always make it about the seasons!)