Early May Bank Holiday
If you were able to travel to the UK today you would find it hard to actually do anything and not just due to Covid restrictions, today is a bank holiday, one of eight days off work for people in England and Wales (9 in Scotland and 10 in Northern Ireland!).
Why “bank holiday”?
Bank holiday, as the name implies, shows the days that are paid holidays for bank employees. The concept or usage of bank holidays started in the old Victorian days (19th century UK) when the Bank of England observed holidays on 34 days that were different from saint’s days or other religious occasions.
However, all this changed with the Bank Holidays Act (1871), when bank holidays were reduced to just 4. A century later, in 1971, the Banking and Financial Dealings Act was passed that again specified bank holidays and added New Year’s day and May day as official bank holidays.
Why Monday May 3rd not May 1st?
In the UK, it is an instrument called Royal Proclamation that is used to declare bank holidays every year. It is a royal proclamation that declares the day in the coming week of a bank holiday if it falls on a weekend. This means that bank holidays are not lost in years when they fall on already declared holidays or weekends. These days are called “substitute days”.
Unlike in France, there are no “ponts” because bank holidays are always on the Monday nearest to the date in question, apart from Christmas, Easter, and New Year.
Upcoming bank holidays in England and Wales
|3 May||Monday||Early May bank holiday|
|31 May||Monday||Spring bank holiday|
|30 August||Monday||Summer bank holiday|
|27 December||Monday||Christmas Day (substitute day)|
|28 December||Tuesday||Boxing Day (substitute day)|
Here is a list of a few countries ranked according to their number of Bank Holidays:
COLOMBIA – 18 bank holidays a year
THAILAND – 16 bank holidays a year
JAPAN – 15 bank holidays a year
RUSSIA – 14 bank holidays a year
PAKISTAN – 13 bank holidays a year
BRAZIL – 12 bank holidays a year
FRANCE – 11 bank holidays a year
USA – 10 bank holidays a year
NORTHERN IRELAND – 10 bank holidays a year
SCOTLAND – 9 bank holidays a year
ENGLAND & WALES – 8 bank holidays a year
MEXICO – 7 bank holidays a year