Early May Bank Holiday is a bank holiday honoured annually on the first Monday of May in the United Kingdom. This year, the holiday will be observed on May 1. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, this holiday is also known as May Day. It is known as the Early May Bank Holiday in Scotland. It is a day in which all institutions and some stores are closed. Moreover, public transport services are reduced. Originally, the Early May Bank Holiday was a Roman festival commemorating the commencement of summer. Over time, the Early May Bank Holiday evolved into a day to advocate for and recognise the rights of workers.
The background of Early May Bank Holiday
Sir John Lubbock, a banker, politician, and scientist who devised the Bank Holiday Act in 1871, was responsible for establishing the first bank holidays. In addition to Good Friday and Christmas Day, he added Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August, and Boxing Day to the list of existing public holidays. These holidays were designated to provide employees with a period of rest.
Initially, bank holidays were observed only by bank employees, but gradually, businesses, shops, institutions, and the government also began to observe these holidays by suspending operations. The Bank Holiday Act of 1871 was repealed and substituted with the Banking and Financial Transactions Act of 1971, which is still in effect.
May Day celebrations in Britain date back to pagan times and are still associated with traditions such as the Maypole. In 1978, the first Monday of May in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland became a public holiday. Since 1871, the first Monday of May has been one of the original bank holidays in Scotland.
The Early May Bank Holiday was relocated from May 1 to May 8 in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Europe’s victory. In 2011, the British parliament debated changing the May Day Bank Holiday to a separate October holiday. This change would have more evenly distributed the bank holidays throughout the year, but they decided to stay with the original dates.
EARLY MAY BANK HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES
Unwind and savour the day
This day exists for you to take a vacation from your professional obligations and relax. Today, allow your body and psyche to rest.
Study a book.
Acquire the book you’ve been intending to read for months. There is no better time than the present.
Watch a film
Draw the drapes and view your favourite film. You must refresh your mood immediately.
5 Facts About Bank and Public Holidays
Bank Holidays were formerly known as St. Lubbock’s Days, in honour of the financier Sir John Lubbock.
India has the greatest number of public holidays, with approximately 21 days.
Mexico is the nation with the fewest number of public holidays, with only seven days.
There were 33 public holidays in the United Kingdom prior to 1834, consisting of saint’s days and other religious holidays.
The second holiday occurs on the last Monday of the month, following White Sunday or Pentecost.
EARLY MAY BANK HOLIDAY DATES