This year in the UK, the first May Bank Holiday date is on Friday 8 May 2020. Traditionally, the first bank holiday in May is on the first Monday of the month. However, the UK government changed the bank holiday to Friday this year, due to the 75th anniversary of VE Day falling on the 8th May in 2020, to allow for extended weekend celebrations. The second bank holiday that month is on Monday 25th and therefore hasn’t changed from its original position in the calendar.
Why do we celebrate VE Day?
VE Day stands for Victory in Europe day and marks the end of the Second World War in Europe. The 8th or 9th May 1945 is traditionally accepted as the marking the date when the Allied Forces accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany. This therefore became the date that fighting ceased and many European countries and North America, started the celebrations of victory on this date. Other countries, such as Russia, Israel, Serbia and Belarus celebrate this victory day of 9th May.
In the UK, the first VE day was celebrated throughout the country, with many individuals flocking to Trafalgar Square in London and up to the Mall at Buckingham Palace. There was believed to be over 1 million people who joined the crowds that day, to see members of the Royal Family including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, wave from the balcony. Prime Minister Winston Churchill also appeared with them on the balcony to acknowledge and celebrate with all the cheering crowds. However, it is important to note that, in a radio address later that day, Churchill was to point out that the war was still going on in some parts of the world.
When was the May bank holiday changed?
In June 2019, it was formally announced that the May bank holiday date for England, Wales and Northern Ireland was changing to Friday 8 May to mark this milestone celebration of VE Day. This has only happened once before, in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and in 2021, the date is likely to go back to the traditional day of Monday.
Keeping track of Public Holidays in Appogee Leave
When booking annual leave, or paid time off, staff often do this to coincide with public holidays. This is so they can use fewer days but still be able to take the week off. In Appogee Leave, it’s easy for staff to book annual leave around public holidays, as these are already in our solution negating the need for managers to manually check dates.
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