Is Early May Bank Holiday a Public Holiday in the UK?
Early May Bank Holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom according to Holidays 2024. The general population is granted a day off on this day where most of the institutions and organisations cease to operate.
Early May Bank Holiday in UK : Change of Dates in 2024
All these years, the Early May bank holiday was celebrated on the first Monday which arrives in the month of May. But as the year 2024 has already begun, there will be a slight alteration to the existing date of May Day Celebrations in the UK. The updated corrigendum states that May Day will be merged with the festivities of Victory in Europe Day and they will take place on the 8th March in the year 2024.
This day will also mark the 75th anniversary of the official end to World War II. The bank holiday which was earlier granted on the first Monday of May has also been shifted to the 8th of May. Hence, this day also guarantees the beginning of a long weekend and the folks of the UK will be seen taking part in the extravagant celebrations of May Day.
History of Early May Bank Holiday in UK
The facts associated with Early May Bank Holiday history have already been mentioned. The Scotts have been celebrating the Early May Day bank holiday ever since the year 1871.
This used to take place on the very first Monday of May itself. The rest of the United Kingdom got introduced to this holiday in the year 1978.
However, it has been believed that the observation of May Day as a festival has its roots in the Pagan times as many types of traditions associated with it can be compared to the fertility rituals which were performed during the Pagan era. This was organised in that particular time period to hail to the Roman Goddess, Flora.
As time passed by, there were many attempts to diminish the celebrations as they were considered to have Unchristian roots. Nevertheless, they continued to take place which is why it is a part of the current time frame.
Some facts and figures also state that a Roman festival holds the originator roots of this festival, where it was commemorated to welcome the summer season in a grandiose manner. It also signified the end of winters, fertility and hope for the upcoming summer season.
Also in recent times, May Day is dedicated to celebrate the cause of Labour Rights. Most people express their solidarity towards the working classes and it is also observed as Labour’s Day.
Early May Day Traditions in UK
All throughout the UK, May Day festivities take place in a robust manner. People come out on the streets to give a hearty welcome to the summer season. Maypole is a popular tradition followed by
the folks of England. It is by far the most important rite followed in England on May Day. Even though its history can be dated back to the Pagan times, it is followed quite religiously in England
even today. This is also followed by Maypole dancing where small girls dance around a tall and huge pole. The pole is also decorated with ribbons and flowers. It might have come into existence in the
Roman Britain era when the soldiers celebrated the Spring season in general and sang and danced around decorated trees. Also in London, grand marches are seen taking place where people are seen campaigning
for the rights of workers.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are some significant traditions which become the highlight of May Day in England. Let us have a quick look at them now.
Morris, a traditional form of dancing is also widely followed on this day. Its association can be generally found with the beginning days of May. Dancers are seen wearing white costumes with bells attached
to them. They also carry long sticks made of wood and scarves with them. Simultaneously, a large accordion music is also played which goes very well with the dance. Initially, the dancing troop was composed of
men. But, women have started to make their places with the advent of feminism and modernism.
May Queen Crowning
People also follow the tradition of making floral garlands, decorating their houses with leaves and colorful flowers. Last but not the least, a May Queen is also crowned to the one who dresses up as the Roman Goddess Flora. In some places, girls step out of their houses early in the morning to wash their faces with dew droplets. It is believed that dew droplets can beautify them instantly. Some folks also see this day as an opportunity to take a break from their mundane work routine. Those who live in Derbyshire’s villages decorate their houses and wells with flowers and leaves.
Early May Bank Holiday / VE Day Observances
|2019||Mon||6 May||Early May Bank Holiday / VE Day||Bank Holiday|
|2020||Fri||8 May||Early May Bank Holiday / VE Day||Bank Holiday|
|2021||Mon||3 May||Early May Bank Holiday / VE Day||Bank Holiday|
|2022||Mon||2 May||Early May Bank Holiday / VE Day||Bank Holiday|
|2023||Mon||1 May||Early May Bank Holiday / VE Day||Bank Holiday|
|2024||Mon||6 May||Early May Bank Holiday / VE Day||Bank Holiday|
|2025||Mon||5 May||Early May Bank Holiday / VE Day||Bank Holiday|
1. When did the first Monday in May become a bank holiday?
The United Kingdom got introduced to this holiday in the year 1978.
2. What is the early May bank holiday in the UK?
The first Monday of the month of May is a bank holiday in the UK. It has been considered to be one of the most prominent holidays to be observed in the entire United Kingdom.
3. Is May Day a pagan holiday?
May 1 marks Beltane’s Celtic holiday, also known as May Day, which is celebrated by many neo pagans and Wiccans around the world to celebrate the start of summer.
4. What is the history of May Day?
On 1st May, 1886, more than 300,000 employees in 13,000 companies across the United States walked off their jobs in the First May Day celebration in history.
Also Read: Other Bank Holidays in the United Kingdom
So, all the necessary information about May Day 2024 in the UK has been given above. We hope that this proves to be insightful for you. Thankyou for connecting with us!!