A Bank Holiday is a day when all banks, the majority of Government
buildings and other businesses close as part of a mandatory public
Bank Holidays Act of 1871 originally had four bank holidays in England,
Wales: Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August, and
Boxing Day in England and Wales. That has since been superseded by the
Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, which currently rules that
there should be eight bank holidays in total – although the dates
can often change depending on the way the calendar falls for that
Holiday was moved
from the first to the last Monday in August as part of the reforms.
Europe's biggest street festival, the Notting Hill Carnival, takes
place over the Summer Bank Holiday weekend, with floats, bands and two
celebrating Caribbean culture and traditions. Leeds and Reading
festivals are also held on the last weekend of August.
New Year's Day - The sensible decision to introduce a day off following New
Year's Eve first came about in England, Wales and Northern
was added to the list of bank holidays in 1974.
Good Friday - Easter is always a highly anticipated event in the UK as two
bank holidays combine to give most workers a four-day weekend.
Easter Monday - Historically, the resurrection of Jesus was celebrated with egg-rolling
and games, some of which, such as the Hallaton bottle-kicking contest,
are still played today. Easter Monday is not an official break in
Scotland but many local authorities treat it as a public holiday so
businesses can synchronise their opening times with the rest of the UK.
Monday 1 May 2017 - Officially known as Early May Bank Holiday, this
day off is generally acknowledged as the May Day Bank Holiday.
Monday May 29 2017 - Spring Bank Holiday. A long-standing fixture in
British history, this public holiday was known as Whit Monday
until 1978, celebrating the Christian festival of Pentecost (the
seventh Sunday after Easter). Since the date of Easter is not fixed on
the calendar, Whit Monday couldn't fit into an orderly schedule of bank
Monday August 28 2017 - Summer Bank Holiday
Monday 25 December 2017 – Christmas Day.
Christmas is celebrated in many different ways around the world. In the
UK, families traditionally tuck into turkey and open presents from
stockings and under the tree.
Tuesday 26 December 2017 - Boxing Day.
Previously known as St Stephen's Day.
Scotland has a
slightly different bank holiday
schedule to England and
Friday 14 April - Good Friday
30 May – Spring Bank Holiday
Monday 1 August – Summer Bank Holiday
Wednesday 30 November – St
Monday 26 December - Boxing Day
Tuesday 27 December - Christmas Day (substitute)
17 March - St Patrick's Day
12 July - Bank Holiday commemorating the Battle of the Boyne
London Underground August Bank Holiday
John Lubbock, The Bank
Holiday Act, 1871