why is there a bank holiday in may

Reflections in spring on one of the many lakes in the Cotswold Water Park near Cirencester, Gloucestershire (Picture: Shutterstock)
Spring will officially end next month, with summer just around the corner. That means lots moreВ sunshine and perhaps a BBQ when busy work schedules permit. But May also means two long weekends with bank holidays typically falling at the beginning and end of the month. This year is no exception. Here is everything you need to know. When are the Bank Holidays in May? There is a Bank Holiday on Monday May 1, 2017, and Monday May 29, 2017. Why are these dates Bank Holidays? May Day (May 1) is a Bank Holiday because it was originally a celebration of the first day of summer back in the Roman times in the northern hemisphere. Thatвs why the summer solstice (the first day of spring on the astronomical calendar) is known as midsummerвs day. It is typically celebrated with dances, singing and feasts. Morris Dancing and the crowning of the May Queen are also typical May Day celebrations.


The last Bank Holiday in May meanwhile is a public holiday as it used to mark the Monday after Pentecost, Whit Sunday or Whitsun. Pentecost is a christian festival celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after the death of Jesus Christ. However, Pentecost can fall outside of May в for example this year it falls on June 4 so the Bank Holiday was changed to be on the last Monday in May. Will I definitely get the day off? UNITED STATES в 2009/03/18: USA, Washington State, Bellevue, Purple Crocus In Spring. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images) Bank or public holidays donвt have to be given to employees as paid leave. Itвs up to an employer to decide whether bank holidays are part of a workerвs statutory leave. So before you start making plans for your long weekend, check whether youвve actually got the time off first. MORE: MORE: Where do bank holidays come from? Liberal MP John Lubbock tabled the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, so that workers could have an extra four days off.


The public holidays were designed to ease pressure on those in the working world, and were initially Easter Monday, the first Monday in August, Whit Monday and Boxing Day. As time went on, more bank holidays were added в and there are now eight in total, which includes Christmas Day, May Day and New Yearвs Day. Banks are closed on the day, hence the name в and the tradition was that if banks arenвt doing business, no-one else can. MORE: MORE: he last weekend of March will mark the startPof a succession of Spring bank holidays in the United Kingdom. PP Thanks to Easter falling early in 2018, the months of April and May provide a significant amount of time for sought-after home improvements and potentially stressful family staycations. The latter will make any office chatter mildly more interesting upon your return. PPP This year's May Day is on Monday 7th May, when many people will head to beaches and garden-party-bashesPif the weather permits.


P Spring is the ideal time to utilise annual leave. PFor the strategists, 14 days of holiday could become a 24 day break thanks to the bank holiday bonanza ahead. PP Here is May Day explained, as well as a round-up of Britain's bank holidays, and advice on how everyonePcan make the most of them. P Public holidays, or 'bank holidays', were first established Pin the UK by The Bank Holidays Act of 1871. A Victorian invention that acknowledged a handfulPof historical dates that carriedPreligious,Pcultural and agricultural importance. P Perhaps rememberingPCanterbury's riots during the 1647 ban on Christmas, parliamentarians assured the publicPthatPDecember 25th would continue to be a day of rest. PPIt was felt unnecessary to include itPin the Act. P The 1871 ActP designated four bank holidays in England, Wales and IrelandPand five in Scotland. PIt was then repealed in 1971 and superseded by the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, which remains in force.

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