Why Has The May Bank Holiday 2020 Been Moved?

Photo credit: Michael Heffernan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Michael Heffernan - Getty Images

From ELLE

Brits are used to two Monday bank holidays each May. If you're the kind of person who plans your annual leave 365 days in advance, however, you might want to think again. For 2020, things are changing up a little.

Next year's early May bank holiday - known as May Day - will be moved back by four days.

Why was May Day bank holiday changed?

Normally, May Day takes place on the first Monday in May, marking the start of spring. Next year, however, it'll be shifted back to Friday 8 May 2020 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

This is in order to give people a day off for a worthy cause. VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, marks the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

'It will ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to remember and honour our heroes of the Second World War and reflect on the sacrifices of a generation,' Business Secretary Greg Clark when announcing the change.

Sir Andrew Gregory, chief executive of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, said it was a 'fitting' idea.

'It is our duty to keep the events of the past alive in collective memory, including future generations - this is how we ensure that such a conflict never happens again,' he said.

The new bank holiday date will form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events. More than 20,000 pubs will encourage drinkers to toast the heroes of the war while churches will take part in a 'Ringing Out For Peace'.

According to the BBC, the May Day bank holiday has been moved only once before - this time to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day. In 1995, it was changed from 1 May to 8 May.

Whether it's a wedding or mini break you've got planned, here's the full list of bank holidays in 2020 for those living in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

2020 Bank and Public Holidays:

  • New Year’s Day: Wednesday 1 January

  • New Year’s Holiday: Thursday 2 January (Scotland only)

  • St Patrick’s Day: Tuesday 17 March (Northern Ireland only)

  • Good Friday: Friday 10 April

  • Easter Monday: Monday 13 April (England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)

  • Early May bank holiday: Friday 8 May

  • Spring bank holiday: Monday 25 May

  • Battle of the Boyne (substitute day): Monday 13 July (Northern Ireland only)

  • Summer bank holiday: Monday 3 August (Scotland only)

  • Summer bank holiday: Monday 31 August (England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)

  • St Andrew’s Day: Monday 30 November (Scotland only)

  • Christmas Day: Friday 25 December

  • Boxing Day (substitute day): Monday 28 December

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