The Hill website ran an article with the headline: “Fireworks in London, Edinburgh as Biden win celebrated abroad.”
On “Saturday Night Live,” Weekend Update host Colin Jost quipped: “Do you know how bad you have to be for Paris to ring church bells when you lose?”
But while many around the world were obsessing about the U.S. election, not everything that happened Saturday was related.
Fact-checkers with French newspaper Libération reported that while the Paris mayor does sometimes ask the Paris Diocese to ring bells to mark political events, that did not happen in this case. Indeed, the bells that could be heard were not in Paris at all, but the suburb of Meudon.
The Diocese of Nanterre, which oversees the area, confirmed that the bells of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption did sound on Saturday evening, but only because they were automatically programed to announce the 6 p.m. mass.
A similar debunking took place in Britain.
ABC News wrote, in a now deleted tweet, that, “Fireworks lit up the night sky over London, UK, after Joe Biden was characterized to be the apparent winner of the presidential election.”
Brits on social media were quick to note that the fireworks would have happened with or without Biden.
Every year in early November, Brits light bonfires and launch fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes’s failure to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. The holiday is Nov. 5, but there are typically light shows in the days before and after, especially in years when the dates falls in the middle of the week.
British broadcaster Piers Morgan showed the ABC tweet on his morning show, adding jokingly: “We’ve been celebrating Joe Biden’s win for the last 500 years, ever since Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night started.”
Others held out the possibility that the fireworks could carry double symbolism. “Rest assured that this year, it’s doubling up as a celebratory #USElection2020 bash!” wrote one user on social media.