Early May Bank Holiday in United Kingdom in 2020

Early May Bank Holiday in United Kingdom in 2020
Image by David Martyn , via Deposit Photos
  How long until Early May Bank Holiday?
This holiday next takes place in 40 days.
  Dates of Early May Bank Holiday in United Kingdom
2022 United Kingdom Mon, May 2 Bank Holiday
2021 United Kingdom Mon, May 3 Bank Holiday
2020 United Kingdom Fri, May 8 Bank Holiday
2019 United Kingdom Mon, May 6 Bank Holiday
2018 United Kingdom Mon, May 7 Bank Holiday
The Early May Bank Holiday has been moved to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe.
  Early May Bank Holiday in other countries
Early May Bank Holiday internationally

Early May Bank Holiday in United Kingdom in 2020

The Early May bank holiday in 2020 will be moved by four days in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to Friday May 8th, so that it coincides with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, marks the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe.

The holiday will form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events.

Commemorative events will take place over the 3-day weekend across the country, including:

  • the Nation’s Toast, where over 20,000 pubs will encourage patrons to raise a glass to the Heroes of World War II
  • bagpipers playing the traditional Battle’s O’er at the top of the 4 highest peaks in the UK – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, Mount Snowdon in Wales, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland
  • bells in churches and cathedrals across the country joining forces in a special Ringing Out for Peace
  • local street parties and celebrations across the 3-day weekend

When is Early May Bank Holiday?

This is a national public holiday in the United Kingdom and is celebrated on the first Monday in May.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it may be known as May Day.

History of Early May Bank Holiday

The first Monday in May became a public holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 1978. In Scotland, it had already been one of the original bank holidays since 1871 (In Scotland, Whit Monday was not a holiday).

Britain has a long heritage of May Day celebrations dating back to pagan times that still have echoes in such customs as the Maypole.

However, this holiday was brought in as a way of marking the International Labour day by the socialist government of the time.

In 1995 the early May bank holiday was moved from May 1st to May 8th to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of victory in Europe.

In 2011 the British parliament debated replacing the May Day bank holiday with a different holiday in October. This change would have spread out the bank holidays more evenly throughout the year as after the August Bank Holiday, it's a barren period for public holidays until Christmas Day. In the end, it was decided not to change the date.

Bank Holidays

On Bank Holidays, generally on a Monday, some shops and banks are closed. Shops that open may follow different trading hours than normal and transport may run on a reduced schedule. There will be no postal service.

Bank holidays were first introduced by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, which designated four holidays in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and five in Scotland.

These were Easter Monday, the first Monday in August, the 26th December, and Whit Monday (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and New Year's Day, Good Friday, the first Monday in May, the first Monday in August, and Christmas Day (Scotland).

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