Everybody looks forward to a bank holiday!

UK bank holidays! Everybody looks forward to a bank holiday! Having a day off is always great. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland share eight holiday dates in common.

Each year, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday (excluding Scotland), May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer (August), Christmas Day and Boxing Day are all UK wide public holidays.

Bank Holidays in Britain

Some of the dates change from year to year. For example, if a bank holiday falls on a weekend, then the next weekday will be a bank holiday. This is usually on the following Monday.

1 January (or next weekday), Good Friday, Early May Bank Holiday (first Monday in May), Spring Bank Holiday (last Monday in May); Summer Bank Holiday (first Monday in August), Christmas Day (or next nearest weekday), Boxing Day (or next nearest weekday after Christmas).

England and Wales

Scotland

In Scotland bank holidays are mostly the same as the rest of Britain. There is no Easter Monday bank holiday and an additional day at the beginning of January.

Scottish national day, St Andrews Day on 30th November is on the calendar, as well as the holiday dates listed above. St Andrew’s Day has been a public holiday in Scotland since 2007 with the the St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act. Scottish Summer bank holiday is held earlier than in England and Wales, on the first Monday in August.

In total, there are nine official bank holidays in Scotland.

1 January (or next weekday); 2 January (or first weekday after New Year’s Day Holiday), Good Friday, Early May Bank Holiday (first Monday in May), Spring Bank Holiday (last Monday in May), Summer Bank Holiday (first Monday in August); St Andrew’s Day (or next weekday), Christmas Day (or next nearest weekday); Boxing Day (or next weekday after Christmas).

Northern Ireland

Like Scotland, Northern Ireland has a couple of extra days. There are ten bank holidays in Northern Ireland each year.

In total, there are ten official bank holidays in Northern Ireland.

In addition to the UK wide bank holiday dates, Northern Ireland celebrates March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day) and July 12 (Battle Day on the Boyne River) with a bank holiday.

St Patrick’s Day (17 March) became an official bank holiday in 1903. The 12 July, the Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, was made official in 1926

What is a Bank Holiday?

A bank holiday is a public holiday in the UK. We use the word bank because they first appeared in the 19th century with the introduction of the Bank Holidays Act of 1871.

The term “bank holiday” refers to the fact that banking institutions typically close for business on such holidays, as they once used to do on certain Saint’s days. The calendar of saints is the traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the day as the feast day or feast of said saint.

Are National Days Bank Holidays?

The national days of England, Ireland Scotland and Wales are not all bank holidays. Only Ireland and Scotland have a bank holiday falling on their national day.

The National St David’s Day parade is held in the centre of Cardiff every year, with lots of exciting performances by dragons and theatre groups. In Wales, there is generally much support for St David’s Day becoming a bank holiday. So much so, that recently Gwynedd Council has decided to make March 1st a public holiday.

When was the first UK Bank Holiday?

Traditionally, the Bank of England observed saints’ days and religious festivals as holidays.

Bank holidays were first introduced by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, which originally created just four holidays in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and five in Scotland. Good Friday, 1st May, 1st November, and Christmas Day.

Christmas Day and Good Friday were already traditionally observed religious holidays.

Whit Monday became a bank holiday

Whit Monday was traditionally celebrated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, between 11 May and 14 June each year. In 1971 it was changed to a fixed spring holiday on the last Monday in May.

UK Bank Holiday Events

Therer are regular bank Holiday events and parties all around the country.

UK Events

More British Holidays and celebrations

Find out more about holidays in Britiain. Traditional festivals and events around the country.

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