Bank Holidays

Before the 1871 Bank Holiday Act, there were only the religious days off work (‘holy’ days or ‘haligdægs’ in Old English) of Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. However, in some areas there were additional holidays tied in with the agricultural calendar of seasonal highlights. The Act, brought in by Sir John Lubbock (1834-1913) who was highly praised for it, standardised a set of public holidays that enabled even the banks to close legally.

After a few tweaks to the schedule, mainly in the 1970s, the ongoing list of Bank Holidays is as follows:-

New Year’s Day 1st January all of UK
2nd January Scotland
St. Patrick’s Day 17th March N.Ireland
Good Friday a Friday in March or April all of UK
Easter Monday 3 days after Good Friday England, Wales, N.Ireland
Early May Bank Holiday first Monday of May all of UK
Spring Bank Holiday last Monday of May all of UK
Battle of the Boyne 12th July N.Ireland
Summer Bank Holiday first Monday of August Scotland
August Bank Holiday last Monday of August England, Wales, N.Ireland
St. Andrew’s Day 30th November Scotland
Christmas Day 25th December all of UK
Boxing Day 26th December all of UK

(Image: It’s No Game at Flickr.com / CC BY 2.0)