From Halachically Speaking Volume 3 Issue 16, see there for sources, as well as other customs associated with Lag B'omer:
What Happened on Lag B’omer
Many different happenings took place on Lag B’omer. Some say it is the day Rav Shimon Bar Yochai came out
of the cave that he and his son were in for thirteen years. Rav Shimon Bar Yochai died on Lag B’omer and
revealed to us the Zohar. The Rama also died on Lag B’omer and many have the custom to go to his kever on
The Simcha of Lag B’omer
On Lag B’omer we are happy. Some say the reason is because the talmidim of Rav Akiva who died throughout
the days following Pesach stopped dying on Lag B’omer. Some poskim ask if so many talmidim died why is his a reason to be happy? The answer may be we are happy that the talmidim which Rav Akiva acquired
afterwards did not die. ....
Some say the mon started to fall on Lag
B’omer. Others say the reason for the joy is based on reasons of kabbalah.
Some say the reason for bonfires on Lag B’omer is because when Rav Shimon Bar Yochai revealed the secrets
of the Torah to us, he brought light to the world, so we make light in his honor. Others say the reason is as a
remembrance of the fire that surrounded Rav Shimon Bar Yochai while he was in the cave.
Bows and Arrows
On Lag B’omer the custom of many is to shoot bows and arrows. One reason is because Hashem shows a
rainbow (keshes) in the sky when He wants to destroy us, but the rainbow is the simon that he will not do so.
In the generation of a few people a rainbow was not shown because of their merit. One of those people was Rav
Shimon Bar Yochai. .... Some say since Lag B’omer is a day that is fit for one’s tefillas to be answered we shoot a bow and
arrow. The beginning words of shema kol tefilaseinu spells keshes (rainbow).