Bonfire night is what the rulers of Britain thought up to make sure nobody ever tries to blow up the English Parliament again.
It involves having kids make Guy Fawkes look-a-like "guys" made of straw or old newspapers and cloth, like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. The kids then run around the village/town/city asking people to give money for their "guys" ("Penny for the guy, guv?"). They get it as well, since what grown-up have ever been able to not give money to some wanting, cute little kids that have made something nice.
And what do they do in the evening?
Well, they burn him on the Bonfire of course.
So in todays world of computers, E=mc2 and space flight, the government of one of the supposedly most advanced nations in the world, teach their kids that burning people is an ok thing to do, and hey, they will even give them money and fireworks (something that can make a kid very happy) for doing it! This is all done, of course, so that kids will grow up into responsible, caring adults, that just have an odd aversion towards blowing up the parliament.
Sounds more like brainwashing to me. ;)