May bank holiday: when is May bank holiday + why has the date been changed?

Looking forward to May bank holiday? You're not the only one...

may bank holiday
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When is May bank holiday and why has the date been changed? These are just two of the questions you may be asking yourself if you woke up feeling extra tired this morning and wished – even for a moment or two – that today was a bank holiday.

Our advice is grab yourself a coffee, tea, matcha, or whatever your caffeinated beverage of choice may be and hang in there for just a few more days, because for the first time in history May bank holiday is falling on a Friday. So, a three day weekend is well within your grasp.

  • Check out our garden hub if you're looking for something to keep you occupied this bank holiday weekend

When is May bank holiday?

This year, May bank holiday is on Friday 8th May 2020. This gives most workers a three day weekend and the opportunity to unwind for an extra day. Usually the early May bank holiday would fall on a Monday, but in 2020 it has been moved to Friday for a special reason that we'll discuss in more detail below.

Why has the date of May bank holiday been changed?

May bank holiday has been moved from Monday 4th May to Friday 8th May to honour 75 years since VE day. For those in need of a history lesson, VE day – or Victory in Europe day – was the day on which fighting against Nazi Germany ceased in Europe. While it did not formally mark the end of the war, it was particularly significant in signifying that the end of war was near.

In order to mark the 75th anniversary, the decision was made to move the early May bank holiday to a Friday. While many plans that had been put in place to celebrate VE day have had to be cancelled on account of Coronavirus, there are still set to be many celebrations throughout the day. These include:

  • A two minute silence at 11am to honour the lives lost during wartime, as well as a recognition of the impact of coronavirus, internationally.
  • The nation's toast will take place at 3pm and invites people to raise a glass on their doorsteps to the heroes of WW2.
  • At 9pm – the exact time her father, King George VI, did in 1945 – the Queen will address the nation.

Not sure what to do this bank holiday?