UK Bank Holidays
Depending on which region in the UK you live in, the bank holidays are different. Bank holiday is generally referred to a national holiday or public holiday in the UK. The reason public holidays are called bank holidays is that on those days the banks are closed in the UK. but the days that banks are closed are not called bank holidays. In Wales and England and Ireland, there are generally four bank holidays. In Scotland, there are five. Here we are going to explain what each holiday is for.
- Christmas day
- Good Friday
- New year’s day
- Easter Sunday
- May Day
- Boxing day
Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December in all over the UK. this national holiday is one of the biggest celebrations in the UK. Christmas day is still a very religious holiday among so many of the people in the UK but recently it has become more of a commercial activity that people do. Some people still go to the church to celebrate the birth of the Jesus but most people gather in a house, have a feast and celebrate this day by having a huge party with lots of food and drinks and gift giving. But whether Christmas has a religious spirit or not it is still one of the most important holidays in the UK. people prepare for this holiday a month or 2 months before the actual day. All over the UK, you can see lights, decorations, trees, etc and you can feel the Christmas spirit everywhere.
Good Friday or Holy Friday is related to the crucifixion of Jesus. This day is actually treated as a day of mourning. Church stay bare and put no decorations. Some churches have ceremonies at three o’clock in the morning because it is said, that is the time Jesus died on the cross. Additional services include readings and dramatic music. This is also another important holiday especially among people who are more religious than the others.
New year’s day
One of the most important bank holidays is new year’s day. On this day people celebrate the first day of the new year by throwing huge parties, having a feast, drinking and just being together. On this day you can hear the church bell all over the UK at midnight. Lots of lights and beautiful decorations are used to make the cities look at lively as possible. After midnight the night follows by loud music and more drinking. Some people go to the church as well. In London, on the first of January, a parade and festival are held that many people go to. On this day, at midnight people also sing “Auld Lang Syne” which means “for the sake of old times” to usher the new year.
Easter Sunday is one of the most important bank holidays in the UK. This is the day people in church celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from death. This symbolizes that death is not the end of the journey. People celebrate this day in the church with flowers, usually white lilies, and bell ringing and gold and white pallets in the hallways of the church. Many different services are done in the church symbolizing the event and different aspects to it. One of the most important parts of the Easter Sunday is the food. The breakfast is served with boiled eggs and people exchange easter gifts and cards. Some other food like Easter biscuits or Easter cake is also served on this day. And of course the chocolate eggs. The biggest tradition in Easter Sunday is the Easter egg giving. The eggs are usually very colorful and beautiful. They are either hollow or have fillings. The reason people give each other eggs is that the egg symbolizes the creation of a new life.
Mayday or early May is a national holiday that is celebrated all over the UK. this holiday is on the first Monday of May and is celebrated each year. This is the time in a year where people are in a very festive mood. Parades and festivals are the major celebration on this day and follow by many activities. This holiday used to be celebrated only in Scotland before but ever since it has become a national holiday more people have the chance to celebrate it. Some of the parades are Crowning of the Queen of May, Morris Dancers, Dawn flower picking. On this holiday many workers also chose to protest to raise awareness about the fact that there is no formal labor day in the UK.
The August bank holiday is celebrated on the last Monday of August in all over the UK except for Scotland. In Scotland, August holiday is celebrated on the first Monday of August. This day was actually instituted to give bank clerks and shop people a day off so they can have a three day weekend for relaxation before the summer holiday ends and employees must go back to work and students go back to school. Most people travel all over the UK on this day and that is why this is one of the days where everywhere is very busy.
Boxing day is actually an extension day for Christmas celebration. This bank holiday is celebrated the day after Christmas. This holiday used to be about so much more than what it is today. The churches used to collect boxed gifts from people and then give them to the poor but today it is more about the sports that are held all over the UK. Sports such as soccer, rugby, horse races or cricket tournaments. People used to go fox hunting as well and that was one of the major things people did until fox hunting was banned. Now, this act is only done for the fun that it has.