British people celebrate Bonfire Night every year on 5 November in memory of a famous event in British history, the Gunpowder Plot. On 5 November 1605 a group of Roman Catholics planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament while King James I was inside. On the evening before, one of them, Guy Fawkes, was caught in the cellars with gunpowder, and the plot was discovered. He and all the other conspirators were put to death. Bonfire Night is also called Guy Fawkes Night.
In celebration of his survival, King James ordered that the people of England should have a great bonfire on the night on 5th November. The event is still commemorated annually in England on 5th November by fireworks and burning ‘guys’ (effigies) on bonfires.
further reading : http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/guy/history.htm