Bank Holidays in The UK

Throughout the year there are several days during which the operation of state institutions and privately-governed organizations, comes to a partial or complete suspension. These are known as public holidays and are established by means of legal law.

Each country has specific public holidays and the UK does as well. However, the number of public holiday days during a calendar year change depending on the region you’re residing because each constituent country has different public holidays.

For the majority of existing countries nowadays, a national day to celebrate the anniversary of the nation’s independence or the anniversary of an important event in their foundation is a typical public holiday. But did you that the UK is the only country in the world alongside Denmark, which does not have a national day on their public holidays’ calendar? Did you also know that in UK public holidays are commonly known as bank holidays?

If you’re planning to study in the UK soon it is very important to know what bank holidays there are and what is their true significance for several reasons. First, you don’t want to experience a sort of cultural shock and you don’t also want to appear to mean to locals to whom some particular holidays can be very meaningful, like for example the Remembrance Day. But you will also want to know about when you’re going to get those extra days off from university or work.

The UK is not known as a country which has many public holidays. We already mentioned that their number is not the same in four constituent countries because festive days highly depend on several contexts. However, some of them are celebrated in each British region.

Here are common bank holidays in the UK:

  • New’s Year Day – 1 January.
  • Good Friday – A Friday before Easter.
  • Early May Bank Holiday – May.
  • Spring Bank Holiday – May.
  • Summer Bank Holiday – August.
  • Christmas Day – 25 December.
  • Boxing Day – 26 December.

Public Holidays in England and Wales

We already mentioned that bank holidays change depending on which British country you’re living in. To a certain degree, public holidays in England are the same as those celebrated in Wales.

Here are the bank holidays in England and Wales for 2019:

  • 1 January (Tuesday) – New Year’s Day.
  • 19 April (Friday) – Good Friday.
  • 22 April (Monday) – Easter Monday.
  • 6 May (Monday) – Early May Bank Holiday.
  • 27 May (Monday) – Spring Bank Holiday.
  • 26 August (Monday) – Summer Bank Holiday.
  • 25 December (Thursday) – Christmas Day.
  • 26 December (Thursday) – Boxing Day.

Note that we intentionally didn’t include specific dates in some of them because they change every year. If any of the public holidays happens to be during the weekend people take a day off any day during the following week.

Public holidays in Scotland

Here are the bank holidays in Scotland for 2019:

  • 1 January (Tuesday) – New Year’s Day.
  • 2 January (Wednesday) – 2nd January.
  • 19 April (Friday) – Good Friday.
  • 6 May (Monday) – Early May Bank Holiday.
  • 27 May (Monday) – Spring Bank Holiday.
  • 5 August (Monday) – Summer Bank Holiday.
  • 2 December (Monday) – St Andrew’s Day (substitute day).
  • 25 December (Wednesday) – Christmas Day.
  • 26 December (Thursday) – Boxing Day.

Public Holidays in Northern Ireland

With a total of ten, Northern Ireland is the British region with the highest number of public holiday days during a calendar year.

Here are the official bank holidays in Northern Ireland for 2019:

  • 1 January (Tuesday) – New Year’s Day.
  • 18 March (Monday) – St Patrick’s Day (substitute day).
  • 19 April (Friday) – Good Friday.
  • 22 April (Monday) – Easter Monday.
  • 6 May (Monday) – Early May Bank Holiday.
  • 27 May (Monday) – Spring Bank Holiday.
  • 12 July (Friday) – Battle of the Boyne (Orangemen’s Day).
  • 26 August (Monday) – Summer Bank Holiday.
  • 25 December (Wednesday) – Christmas Day.
  • 26 December (Thursday) – Boxing Day.

As you can notice except for common bank holidays,  there are two other festive days for people of Northern Ireland: St-Patrick’s Day and the Bottle of the Boyne. The former is celebrated to honour patron a saint of Ireland with the same name while the Bottle of Boyne is held in honour of a famous battle that took place in 1690 near the Boyne river.

A bank holiday in the UK does not always mean a day off work. Quite often it depends on what kind of job you do. For example, if you work in a local shop, a bank holiday might be just another regular day at work. By law, your employer in the UK is not obligated to give you a paid leave during bank holidays and there are many people who actually choose to work.

Other holidays in the UK

The UK is a synonym of diversity. A place of fairly tail like history and home to millions of expats, you can hardly find any spot in the world with such a unique mixture of people, customs, traditions, beliefs and other cultural features. Therefore, the celebration of many interesting holidays is inevitable.

Apart from bank holidays, there are plenty of other important holidays celebrated in the UK. Some of them are nationwide while some are only celebrated by specific groups of people. Surely the  Remembrance Day and the Bonfire Night are the most important.

Every year at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the UK commemorates and remembers all people who died during the World’s War I and World’s War II. The tradition started back in 1919, one year after the World’s War I finally ended in 1918. In the beginning, it was known as Armistice Day, but soon after the World’s War II, it changed to Remembrance Day to also commemorate also those who lost their lives serving during this war.

Guy Fawkes Night is actually a celebration of something that never happened. The origin of this holidays dates back in November 1605 when a strong opposition of King James I, was preparing to burn the parliament and kill the king. People celebrate it by setting off fireworks. However, in recent times the popularity of this holiday has decreased largely especially after tough restrictions over the use of fireworks.

Other holidays in the UK include the following:

  • Burns Night.
  • Chinese New Year.
  • Mother’s Day.
  • Father’s Day.
  • St George’s Day.
  • Yom Kippur.
  • Diwali.
  • Eid-Ul-Fitr.

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