Guy Fawkes and mud

I was dropping off some builders in a low cost housing area this morning when I remarked that there were quite a number of kids out on the streets. The painter said it was due to Guy Fawkes. But it’s not really a public holiday, is it? No, I was told, but some older kids dig out earth holes, fill it with water, then churn the whole thing up into a mud bath. Smaller kids reportedly get dipped into these mud baths. So, some children now take the precaution of not going to school for fear of ending up filthy with mud.

I checked with the grand dame on matters of eastern cape culture, religion and entertainment, (aka the housekeeper), and she said these activities have been associated with Guy Fawkes day since about 2006.

What a peculiar evolution going from fireworks to mud! I wonder if its going to be culturally significant.


Sounds fun…for the older kids.

S’pose. And certainly cheaper than crackers. I just don’t like that it leads to another day of near empty school desks.


Didn’t they ban fireworks? So the kids have to come up with something else or they’ll go crackers.

;D Could well be, hey, Brian.

Just came back from the same area a minute ago, and drove past one of these mud baths. And what a flippin’ big dugout it has become! Children major and minor were having a blast peppering each other with the mud. A minibus taxi or two got blasted as well. I am thinking that the truancy could be less to do with fear, and more with anticipation!

Anyway, it was interesting to note that this traditionally English holiday has - at least locally - morphed into something completely different. I read that Xhosa people (used to?) decorate themselves in red ocher paste on special occasions, so maybe there is link right there.


A more immediate link is that some of those people are probably itching to blow up the SA parliament. If that happens, we’ll be celebrating Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo day on 5 November in the future… :wink:


No, I think you are confusing two issues here. Red ochre is applied to pumpkins during Halloween and marks the end of Red October. Guy fox is a nickname for Samson, who tied together in pairs the tails of three hundred foxes, tied and lit fireworks between their tails and then chased them across Sydney Harbour Bridge.

After playing with some red dominoes.

These days, lots of people want to blow up parliament. Perhaps we’ll end up having a Boeremag Day, or Dag van Afrekening. But they’ll probably do it on 16 December rather than 5 November.

Imagine… bunking a day off work to “gooi kleilat” in a mud dug-out, sounds like bliss to me.