I had no clue about it until a couple of months ago when some of my friends from England told me all about it. I really enjoyed V for Vendetta. I hadnt associated it with Guy Fawkes until they told me.
Every year since my husband has been here from England we have celebrated it. We have to save fireworks from the 4th of July in order to have them in November. So, what did we do this year? Realized on Nov 7th that we had completely forgotten about it. *sigh* Guess we'll use the fireworks for New Year's.
It was rather neat his first year here because my daughter had her birthday party on Nov 5th and we were able to educate all of her friends about it. They enjoy learning about my husband's English customs.
I have written a hub about bonfire night as it was celebrated in the 1950's which contains a piece about the history of bonfire night and the bloody punishment of hanging drawing and quartering that was given to the plotters. If you don't know much about bonfire night you might find this hub interesting.
While you get some professional, large-scale fireworks at New Year's Eve here, I've not come across people doing their own at Christmas or New Year - and I've not seen them for sale at that time, either.
And...to make matters worse.....because it's usually so dry here in July, we sometimes have a burn-ban on and even though you buy them, it's illegal to shoot them. So, you have to save them to when you can.