27 April 2020

May bank holiday: Why did the date change? When is it? And why is it a Friday?

For those of you looking at your diary or calendar and noting we're heading towards a Bank Holiday weekend…  there's been a change of plan.

To be fair, the change of plan happened last summer, but that came too late for companies that had already printed millions of said diaries and calendars.

This year's early May bank holiday, which was scheduled for Monday 3, was moved to Friday 8 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day, for which there was planned a a host of public events.

On May 8th 1945, the country celebrated as peace was officially declared and the Second World War was over.

The change of date was announced last June and celebrations were put in place. 20,000 pubs across the country were encouraging the public to raise a glass to heroes, while churches were all taking part in Ringing Out For Peace.

When the decision was made, the chief executive of the Armed Forces charity SSAFA, Sir Andrew Gregory, said it was a ‘fitting idea’.

But now, as with so many other events, those plans are cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank holiday has been moved once before, in 1995 to commemorate 50 years since VE Day.

The late spring bank holiday remains in place on May 25. It remains to be seen whether plans for that weekend will need to be cancelled.

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