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Bank Holidays

We have put together a list of all bank holidays taking place in the United Kingdom below. Each accompanied by a corresponding date and reason why it’s a public holiday. Alternatively view date tables for England & Wales, Scotland or Northern Island.

New Year’s Day

1ST JANUARY 2015
New Year’s Day is a day of celebration when families mark the first day of the new calendar year, January 1. Celebrations often begin the night before, with parties being held to see in the new year when the clock strikes midnight. New Year’s Day is a public holiday in the UK and many countries around the world.

Good Friday

3RD APRIL 2015
Good Friday is two days before Easter Sunday and is the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, before his resurrection is celebrated two days later. It is part of Holy Week and a public holiday in the UK, meaning schools and many businesses are closed.

Easter Monday

6TH APRIL 2015
This is the day after Easter Sunday and is celebrated as a public holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, although not in Scotland. It marks the last day of a four day weekend to celebrate Easter, the time when Christians celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Early May Bank Holiday

4TH MAY 2015
The Early May Bank Holiday is usually on the first Monday in the month of May and is a public holiday in the UK, known traditionally as May Day. Traditional celebrations take place across the country, including Morris dancing and dancing around the Maypole, while it is also often used as a day to campaign for workers’ rights.

Spring Bank Holiday

25TH MAY 2015
The Spring Bank Holiday is a public holiday in the UK which usually falls on the last Monday in May. It was traditionally known as Whit Monday and marked the first Monday after Pentecost, seven weeks after Easter Sunday, but the date is now fixed as the last Monday in May.

Summer Bank Holiday

31ST AUGUST 2015
The Summer Bank Holiday is a public holiday which takes place in August in the UK, with the date varying depending on where you live. In Scotland, it is celebrated on the first Monday of the month, whereas England, Wales and Northern Ireland all enjoy a bank holiday on the last Monday of August.

Christmas Day

25TH DECEMBER 2015
Christmas Day is traditionally the time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and falls on the 25th of December every year. As well as being a religious feast, it is now a holiday widely celebrated around the world by people of all faiths and non-religious people alike, when people exchange gifts and messages of peace.

Boxing Day

28TH DECEMBER 2015
(Substitute Day)
Boxing Day is the day after Christmas Day and is a bank holiday in the UK, as well as a Christian feast day know as St Stephen’s Day. Should Boxing Day, which is always December 26, fall on a weekend, then the following Monday is made a public holiday.

More About Bank Holidays

Bank holidays are public holidays in the United Kingdom and take place at various times throughout the year. They always take place during the working week and, as the name suggests, were originally so called because it was a time when the Bank of England would close.

The phrase these days is often used to refer to any public holiday in the country, even if they were not originally referred to as ‘bank holidays’, such as Christmas Day. Many workplaces and businesses close to give their staff the day off and traditionally shops and other public places also closed although these days many shops and restaurants choose to stay open with staff often paid overtime for working on a public holiday.

The number of bank holidays varies slightly in different parts of the UK, with England and Wales usually enjoying eight permanent bank holidays, while there are nine in Scotland and ten in Northern Ireland. Everywhere in the UK also got an extra bank holiday in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on June 5.

Bank Holiday History Lesson

There was a time when more than 30 saints days and religious occasions with marked with the closure of the Bank of England, but in 1834 the bank decided to reduce this significantly to just four specified dates, which were Christmas Day, Good Friday, May Day and All Saints Day on November 1.

The tradition of bank holidays was cemented in law in 1871 with the introduction of the Bank Holidays Act, which laid out four bank holidays in the UK, varying slightly from those first observed in 1834 and with slight differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK to reflect the different traditions. Christmas Day and Good Friday were already accepted as ‘common law holidays’, while in Ireland St Patrick’s Day was added as an additional bank holiday in 1903.

Further changes to holiday dates took place over the next century, with a new act in 1971, the Banking and Financial Dealings Act, specifying the majority of dates which are still observed today as bank holidays. Additional May holidays were added a few years later, while it was not until 2007 that St Andrew’s Day was declared a bank holiday in Scotland.

Bank Holiday Timetables

Reference: When a bank holiday is on a weekend, a day during the week is ‘substituted’ (usually the next Monday on the calendar).

England & Wales

England & Wales 2015 Bank Holidays
1st January Thursday New Years Day
3rd April Friday Good Friday
6th April Monday Easter Monday
4th May Monday Early May Bank Holiday
25th May Monday Spring bank Holiday
31st August Monday Summer Bank Holiday
25th December Friday Christmas Day
28th December Monday Boxing Day (Substitute Day)

Scotland

Scotland 2015 Bank Holidays
1st January Thursday New Years Day
2nd January Friday 2nd January
3rd April Friday Good Friday
4th May Monday Early May Bank Holiday
25th May Monday Spring bank Holiday
3rd August Monday Summer Bank Holiday
30th November Monday St Andrew’s Day
25th December Friday Christmas Day
28th December Monday Boxing Day (Substitute Day)

Northern Island

Northern Island 2015 Bank Holidays
1st January Thursday New Years Day
17th March Tuesday St Patrick’s Day
3rd April Friday Good Friday
6th April Monday Easter Monday
4th May Monday Early May Bank Holiday
25th May Monday Spring bank Holiday
13th July Monday Battle of the Boyne
31st August Monday Summer Bank Holiday
25th December Friday Christmas Day
28th December Monday Boxing Day (Substitute Day)