A bank holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom, some Commonwealth countries, Hong Kong and the Republic of Ireland. There is no automatic right to time off on these days, but banks close and the majority of the working population is granted time off work or extra pay for working on these days, depending on their contract. The first official bank holidays were the four days named in the Bank Holidays Act 1871, but today the term is also commonly used for Good Friday and Christmas Day, which were already public holidays under common law and therefore not official bank holidays in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Until 1834, the Bank of England observed about 33 saints' days and religious festivals as holidays, but in that year this was reduced to four: 1 May (May Day), 1 November (All Saints' Day), Good Friday and Christmas Day. In 1871, the first legislation relating to bank holidays was passed when Liberal politician and banker Sir John Lubbock introduced the Bank Holidays Act 1871, which specified the days in the table below. Under the Act, no person was compelled to make any payment or to do any act upon a bank holiday which he would not be compelled to do or make on Christmas Day or Good Friday, and the making of a payment or the doing of an act on the following day was equivalent to doing it on the holiday. People were so grateful that some called the first Bank Holidays St Lubbock's Days for a while. Scotland was treated separately because of its separate traditions: for example, New Year is a more important holiday there.
|England, Wales and Ireland||Scotland|
|1st and 2nd January|
|Easter Monday||Good Friday|
|Whit Monday||First Monday in May|
|First Monday in August||First Monday in August|
|Boxing Day/St Stephen's Day|
The Act did not include Good Friday and Christmas Day as bank holidays in England, Wales, or Ireland because they were already recognised as common law holidays: they had been customary holidays since time immemorial.
In 1903, the Bank Holiday (Ireland) Act added 17 March, Saint Patrick's Day, as a bank holiday for Ireland only. Christmas Day did not become a Bank Holiday in Scotland until 1958. New Year's Day did not become a bank holiday in England until 1 January 1974. Boxing Day did not become a Bank Holiday in Scotland until 1974.
Commencing in 1965, experimentally, the August Bank Holiday weekend was observed at the end of August "to give a lead in extending British holidays over a longer summer period". Each year's date was announced in Parliament on an ad-hoc basis, to the despair of the calendar and diary publishing trade. The rule seems to have been to select the weekend of the last Saturday in August, so that in 1968 and 1969 Bank Holiday Monday actually fell in September.
A century after the 1871 Act, the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, which currently regulates bank holidays in the UK, was passed. The majority of the current bank holidays were specified in the 1971 Act: however New Year's Day and May Day were not introduced throughout the whole of the UK until 1974 and 1978 respectively. The date of the August bank holiday was changed from the first Monday in August to the last Monday in August, and the Whitsun bank holiday (Whit Monday) was replaced by the Late Spring Bank Holiday, fixed as the last Monday in May. In 1978 the first Monday in May in the rest of the UK, and the final Monday of May in Scotland, were designated as bank holidays.
Under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, bank holidays are proclaimed each year by the legal device of a royal proclamation. Royal proclamation is also used to move bank holidays that would otherwise fall on a weekend. In this way, public holidays are not 'lost' in years when they coincide with weekends. These deferred bank holiday days are termed a 'bank holiday in lieu' of the typical anniversary date. In the legislation they are known as 'substitute days'. The movement of the St Andrew's Day Scottish holiday to the nearest Monday when 30 November is a weekend day is statutory and does not require a proclamation.
A number of differences apply in Scotland relative to the rest of the United Kingdom. For example, Easter Monday is not a bank holiday. Also, although they share the same name, the Summer Bank Holiday falls on the first Monday of August in Scotland, as opposed to the last Monday in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Despite this, it is custom and practice to follow the rest of the UK and banks close on the last Monday and not the first.
Bank holidays do not, however, assume the same importance in Scotland as they do elsewhere. Whereas they have effectively become public holidays elsewhere in the United Kingdom, in Scotland there remains a tradition of public holidays based on local tradition and determined by local authorities (for example, the Glasgow Fair and the Dundee Fortnight). In 1996, Scottish banks made the business decision to harmonise their own holidays with the rest of the United Kingdom, with the result that 'bank holidays' in Scotland are neither public holidays nor the days on which banks are closed.
The number of holidays in the UK is relatively small compared to many other European countries. However, direct comparison is inaccurate since the 'substitute day' scheme of deferment does not apply in most European countries, where holidays that coincide with a weekend (29% of fixed-date holidays) are 'lost'. In fact, the average number of non-weekend holidays in such countries is only marginally higher (and in some cases lower) than the UK. Worth mentioning is that public holidays in Europe which fall on Thursday or Tuesday typically become "puente" or "bridge" four-day or even six-day extended holiday weekends as people tend to use one or two days from their holiday entitlement to take off Monday and/or Friday.
There have been calls for more bank holidays. Among the most notable dates absent from the existing list are the feast days of patron saints; 23 April (St George's Day and widely regarded as the birthday of William Shakespeare) in England and 1 March (St David's Day) in Wales are not currently recognised. 17 March (St Patrick's Day) is a public holiday in Northern Ireland and, since 2008, 30 November (St Andrew's Day) is a bank holiday in Scotland. In 2009, it was reported that St Piran's Day (patron saint of the county of Cornwall) on 5 March is already given as an unofficial day off to many government and other workers in the county, and there are renewed calls for the government to recognise this as an official bank holiday there.
After the election of the Coalition Government in May 2010, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport launched a pre-consultation in 2011 which included the suggestion of moving the May Day Bank Holiday to October, to be a "UK Day" or "Trafalgar Day" (21 October) or to St David's Day and St George's Day.
It is suggested that a move from the May bank holiday to a St Piran's Day bank holiday in Cornwall, on 5 March, would benefit the Cornish economy by £20–35 million.
During the sterling crisis of 1968, Prime Minister Harold Wilson convened a meeting of the privy council in the early hours of 14 March to declare 15 March a non-statutory bank holiday. This allowed the UK government to close the London gold market to stem the losses being suffered by the British pound. It was this meeting that triggered the resignation of Foreign Secretary George Brown.
In the UK every bank holiday retailers display large sales to entice people to shop on their bank holiday days off. Sales can reach up to 70% off across certain stores. Customers will normally wait for these sales to purchase their home electronics and furniture. The sales are on every year but the bank holiday sales dates can change from year to year. In the UK Argos, Currys and Amazon are the largest retailers that not only have the biggest sales but also see the most revenue over these days.
Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other Commonwealth countries. Boxing Day originated in England in the middle of the nineteenth century under Queen Victoria. For years in which the holiday falls on a weekend, the celebration is moved to make sure workers still get a day off (except in Canada, where it remains 26 Dec.) In the UK December 26 is Bank Holiday unless it falls on a Saturday - in which case December 28 is a Bank Holiday-or a Sunday, in which case both December 27th and 28th are Bank Holidays - the former in lieu of Christmas Day. The legislation does not use the term 'Boxing Day'.
|Date||Name||England and Wales (8)||Scotland (9)||Northern Ireland(10)||Republic of Ireland (9)||Isle of Man (10)|
|1 January||New Year's Day|
|2 January||2 January|
|17 March||St Patrick's Day|
|The Friday before Easter Sunday||Good Friday|
|The Monday after Easter Sunday||Easter Monday|
|First Monday in May||Early May Bank Holiday|
|Last Monday in May||Spring Bank Holiday / Late May Bank Holiday|
|First Monday in June||June Bank Holiday|
|First Friday in June||TT Bank Holiday|
|5 July||Tynwald Day|
|12 July||The Twelfth (Battle of the Boyne)|
|First Monday in August||Summer Bank Holiday|
|Last Monday in August||Late Summer Bank Holiday / August Bank Holiday|
|Last Monday in October||October Bank Holiday|
|30 November||St Andrew's Day|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
|26 December||Boxing Day / St Stephen's Day|
In the past, additional one-off bank holidays have included: (i) Wednesday 14 November 1973, to celebrate the Wedding of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips at Westminster Abbey; (ii) Tuesday 7 June 1977, to celebrate The Queen's Silver Jubilee; (iii) Wednesday 29 July 1981, to celebrate the Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral;  (iv) Friday 31 December 1999, to enable people to prepare for the festivities to mark the arrival of the new millennium; (v) Monday 3 June 2002 to celebrate The Queen's Golden Jubilee (Spring Bank Holiday was moved to Tuesday 4 June 2002); (vi) Friday 29 April 2011, to celebrate the Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton; (vii) Tuesday 5 June 2012, to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee
Public holidays are not generally known as "bank holidays" in Australia, although in the state of Victoria, all statutory holidays, their substitutes, and Saturdays are legally defined as "bank holidays".
In two other states there are two particular public holidays, for specific occupations only, which are officially known as "Bank Holiday":
The public holidays in Gibraltar are a mix of "bank holidays" and "public holidays" and are often used interchangeably, although strictly and legally there is a difference.
In Hong Kong, the term "bank holiday" is used colloquially to refer to public holidays.
In India, 15 of the public holidays are bank holidays.
In Ireland, "bank holiday" is a colloquial term, sometimes used incorrectly for what are officially "public holidays". A bank holiday in Ireland are only days in which Bank employees are off, e.g. Good Friday is a Bank Holiday, but not a Public Holiday.
(What's the Story) Morning Glory? is the second studio album by English rock band Oasis, released on 2 October 1995 by Creation Records. It was produced by Owen Morris and the group's guitarist Noel Gallagher. The structure and arrangement style of the album were a significant departure from the group's previous record Definitely Maybe (1994). Gallagher's compositions were more focused in balladry and placed more emphasis on huge choruses, with the string arrangements and more varied instrumentation on the record contrasting with the rawness of the group's debut album. (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was the group's first album with drummer Alan White, who replaced Tony McCarroll.
The record propelled Oasis from being a crossover indie act to a worldwide rock phenomenon, and according to various critics, was a significant record in the timeline of British indie music. The band's most commercially successful release, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? sold a record-breaking 347,000 copies in its first week on sale, spent 10 weeks at number one on the UK Albums Chart, and reached number four in the US Billboard 200. Singles from the album were successful in Britain, America and Australia: "Some Might Say" and "Don't Look Back in Anger" reached number one in the UK; "Champagne Supernova" and "Wonderwall" reached number one on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart, with "Wonderwall" also topping the Australian and New Zealand singles charts.Although a commercial smash, the record received initially lukewarm reviews from mainstream music critics; many contemporary reviewers deemed it inferior to Definitely Maybe, with the songwriting and production particular points of criticism. In the ensuing years, however, critical opinion towards the album reversed, and it is now generally considered a seminal record of both the Britpop era, and the 1990s in general. At the 1996 Brit Awards, the album won Best British Album. Over several months in 1995 and 1996, the band performed an extensive world tour in support of the album. Among the most notable of these concerts were back-to-back nights at Earls Court in London in November 1995, which were the biggest ever indoor gigs in Europe at the time. They also performed two 'homecoming' gigs at Maine Road in Manchester in April 1996. In August of that year, the band played to 80,000 people over two nights at Balloch Country Park at Loch Lomond in Scotland, before two performances a week later at Knebworth House to a combined crowd of 250,000 people.
At the 2010 Brit Awards, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was named the greatest British album since 1980. It is claimed to have sold over 22,400,000 copies worldwide, although several sources claim that it has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, and appears on several lists of the greatest albums in rock music. As of October 2018, it is the UK's fifth best-selling album (third best-selling studio album) of all time, having sold over 4.9 million copies, and was also the biggest-selling album of the 1990s in the UK.Bank Holiday (film)
Bank Holiday (also known as Three on a Weekend) is a 1938 British drama film directed by Carol Reed and starring John Lodge, Margaret Lockwood, Hugh Williams and Kathleen Harrison.Boxing Day
Boxing Day is a secular holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day. It originated in the United Kingdom and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously formed part of the British Empire. Boxing Day is on 26 December, although the attached bank holiday or public holiday may take place either on that day or two days later.
In some European countries, such as Romania, Hungary, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia, 26 December is celebrated as a Second Christmas Day.Crystal Palace circuit
Crystal Palace circuit is a former motor racing circuit in Crystal Palace Park in the Crystal Palace area of south London, England. The route of the track is still largely extant but the roads are now mainly used for access to the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre located in the park, and to events within the upper parts of Crystal Palace Park. Some parts of the track are closed off but part is used for an annual Sprint Meeting held on the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, until 2017, when it was held on the August holiday weekend.Damyns Hall Aerodrome
Damyns Hall Aerodrome (ICAO: EGML) is an operational general aviation aerodrome located 2 nautical miles (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) south of Upminster in the London Borough of Havering, England. The airfield has around 100 acres of grassland and is owned and operated by Damyns Hall Aereodrome Limited.Damyns Hall Aerodrome is an unlicensed airfield from which some flying instruction takes place. London Airsports operates microlight aircraft for training and experience flights. The aerodrome is home to many vintage and modern sport aircraft. It has a café with a garden viewing area open to the general public. The aerodrome grounds were home to the annual (early August) Essex HMVA Military and Flying Machines show until 2017, when it moved to Maldon. Since 2013, Damyns Hall has also been the main location for We Are FSTVL, an award-winning electronic music festival. Typically set during the May bank holiday each year, the festival is home to several thousand festival goers from across the UK.The aerodrome has an air/ground radio service as "Hornchurch Radio" on 119.550 MHz.Deborah McAndrew
Deborah McAndrew (born 1967) is a British playwright and actor, known for playing Angie Freeman in Coronation Street in the 1990s. She is also co-founder and Creative Director of the Stoke-on-Trent-based Claybody Theatre Company, and a visiting lecturer in the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at Staffordshire University.Emergency Banking Act
The Emergency Banking Act (the official title of which was the Emergency Banking Relief Act), Public Law 1, 48 Stat. 1 (March 9, 1933), was an act passed by the United States Congress in March 1933 in an attempt to stabilize the banking system. Beginning on February 14, 1933, Michigan, an industrial state which had been hit particularly hard by the Great Depression in the United States, declared an eight-day bank holiday. Fears of other bank closures spread from state to state as people rushed to withdraw their deposits while they still could do so. Within weeks, all other states held their own bank holidays in an attempt to stem the bank runs (on March 4, Delaware became the 48th and last state to close its banks). Following his inauguration on March 4, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt set out to rebuild confidence in the nation's banking system. On March 6 he declared a four-day national banking holiday that kept all banks shut until Congress could act. A draft law, prepared by the Treasury staff during Herbert Hoover's administration, was passed on March 9, 1933. The new law allowed the twelve Federal Reserve Banks to issue additional currency on good assets so that banks that reopened would be able to meet every legitimate call.
The Emergency Banking Act, an amendment to the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, was introduced on March 9, 1933, to a joint session of Congress, and was passed the same evening amid an atmosphere of chaos and uncertainty as over 100 new Democratic members of Congress swept into power determined to take radical steps to address banking failures and other economic malaise. The EBA was one of President Roosevelt's first projects in the first 100 days of his presidency. The sense of urgency was such that the act was passed with only a single copy available on the floor of the House of Representatives and legislators voted on it after the bill was read aloud to them by Chairman of the House Banking Committee Henry Steagall. Copies were made available to senators as the bill was being proposed in the Senate, after it had passed in the House.
According to William L. Silber: "The Emergency Banking Act of 1933, passed by Congress on March 9, 1933, three days after FDR declared a nationwide bank holiday, combined with the Federal Reserve's commitment to supply unlimited amounts of currency to reopened banks, created 100 percent deposit insurance. Much to everyone's relief, when the institutions reopened for business on March 13, 1933, depositors stood in line to return their stashed cash to neighborhood banks. Within two weeks, Americans had redeposited more than half of the currency that they had squirreled away before the bank suspension. The stock market registered its approval as well. On March 15, 1933, the first day of stock trading after the extended closure of Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange recorded the largest one-day percentage price increase ever with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 8.26 points to close at 62.10; a gain of 15.34%. With the benefit of hindsight, the nationwide Bank Holiday and the Emergency Banking Act of March, 1933, ended the bank runs that had plagued the Great Depression."One month later, on April 5, 1933, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 criminalizing the possession of monetary gold by any individual, partnership, association or corporation and Congress passed a similar resolution in June 1933.This act was a temporary response to a major problem. The 1933 Banking Act passed later that year presented elements of longer-term response, including formation of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).Jim'll Fix It
Jim'll Fix It is a long-running British television show, broadcast by the BBC between May 1975 and June 1994. It was devised and presented by Jimmy Savile and produced by Roger Ordish and encouraged children to write in to have their wishes granted.Public holidays in Gibraltar
The public holidays in Gibraltar are a mix of "bank holidays" and "public holidays" and are often used interchangeably, although strictly and legally there is a difference. Bank holidays are holidays when banks and many other businesses are closed for the day. Public holidays are holidays which have been observed through custom and practice.Public holidays in Guernsey
This is a list of public holidays in Guernsey.
Also, Alderney observes the first Monday of August as Summer Bank Holiday, and 15 December as Homecoming day when residents returned to the island after the Second World War. Sark observes 10 May as its Liberation Day.Public holidays in the Republic of Ireland
These are the public holidays observed in Ireland. Public holidays in Ireland (as in other countries) may commemorate a special day or other event, such as Saint Patrick's Day or Christmas Day. On public holidays (sometimes incorrectly referred to as bank holidays - a colloquialism), most businesses and schools close. Other services, for example, public transport, still operate but often with reduced schedules.
The nine public holidays in Ireland each year are as follows:
Note that where a public holiday falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, or possibly coincides with another public holiday, it is generally observed (as a day off work) on the next available weekday, even though the public holiday itself does not move. In such cases, an employee is entitled to at least one of the following (as chosen by the employer): a day off within a month, an additional day's paid annual leave or an additional day's pay. The usual practice is, however, to award a day off on the next available weekday.Public holidays in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, public holidays are days on which most businesses and non-essential services are closed, although an increasing number of retail businesses (especially the larger ones) do open on some of the public holidays. There are restrictions on trading on Sundays and Christmas Day in England and Wales and on New Year's Day and Christmas Day in Scotland. Legally defined holidays, analogous to "public holidays" in many other countries, are usually called bank holidays in the United Kingdom, but can also be referred to as "public holidays"; strictly, however, "public holidays" refer to "common law holidays", the observance of which derive from custom and practice (see "Terminology" below).Pull the Pin
Pull the Pin is the sixth studio album by Welsh rock band Stereophonics, released by V2 in the UK on 12 October 2007. A Stereophonics newsletter released the Pull the Pin album artwork to subscribers. The cover was also shown to Myspace users that had added the band in a bulletin.
The taster track "Bank Holiday Monday" had its world premier on Radio 1's Chris Moyles Show on Tuesday 1 May 2007 and was made available for digital download on Monday 28 May 2007 from online retailers. The album became a critical and commercial low-point for Stereophonics; receiving negative reviews and – at the time – having the lowest sales figures of their career. Despite this Pull the Pin still managed to reach number 1 on the UK Albums Chart, however it was their last until Keep the Village Alive almost 8 years later in 2015.Saint Andrew's Day
Saint Andrew's Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is celebrated on 30 November. Saint Andrew's Day (Scots: Saunt Andra's Day, Scottish Gaelic: Là Naomh Anndrais) is Scotland's official national day. It is a national holiday in Romania (since 2015). Saint Andrew is represented in the New Testament to be the disciple who introduced his brother, the Apostle Peter, to Jesus as the Messiah. He is the patron saint of Cyprus, Scotland, Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, San Andres Island (Colombia), Saint Andrew (Barbados) and Tenerife.
In Germany, the feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht ("(St.) Andrew's Night"), in Austria with the custom of Andreasgebet ("(St.) Andrew's Prayer"), and in Poland as Andrzejki ("Andrew's (festivities)"), in Russia as Андреева ночь ("Andrew's night").Sapphire Jubilee of Elizabeth II
On 6 February 2017, the Sapphire Jubilee of Elizabeth II, marking sixty-five years of her reign, occurred. The longest-reigning monarch in British history, Queen Elizabeth II is the first British monarch to have a sapphire jubilee.Contrary to her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, there were no widespread public celebrations of the Sapphire Jubilee. Instead, like the February 1992 Ruby Jubilee, the Queen did not undertake any official engagements. As then, she spent the day in "quiet reflection" on the anniversary of the death of her father, George VI, and undertaking official work at Sandringham House. She attended a service at St Peter and St Paul Church in West Newton, Norfolk on Sunday 5 February, where she was greeted by crowds of well-wishers. Larger-scale celebrations took place in June 2016, to mark the Queen's 90th birthday, and any extensive celebrations would be reserved for a possible Platinum jubilee in 2022. Despite proposals for larger celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the Queen's accession in June 2017, including a mooted bank holiday, no such celebrations were held.The Sapphire Jubilee featured blue stamps from the Royal Mail, commemorative coins from the Royal Mint, and a reissue of an official 2014 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by David Bailey. In this official portrait the Queen wears sapphire jewellery which she received as a wedding present from her father. In September 2017, a new community centre in Collier Row, Romford, was named the Sapphire Jubilee Community Centre in the Queen's honour.The Jubilee also involved the ringing of the bells in Westminster Abbey, a 41-gun salute by the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park, a 62-gun salute by the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London and gun salutes in several other places around the United Kingdom. Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, congratulated the Queen in regard to the occasion, saying in part that the occasion was "another remarkable milestone for our remarkable Queen. ... I know the nation will join with me today in celebrating and giving thanks for the lifetime of service Her Majesty the Queen has given to our country and to the Commonwealth. ... She has truly been an inspiration to all of us and I am proud, on behalf of the nation, to offer our humble thanks and congratulations on celebrating this Sapphire Jubilee." At a celebration of Canada's sesquicentennial in Canada House on 19 July 2017, the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch was presented to the Queen as a gift from the Governor General of Canada.St Piran's Day
St Piran's Day (Cornish: Gool Peran) is the national day of Cornwall, held on 5 March every year. The day is named after one of the patron saints of Cornwall, Saint Piran, who is also the patron saint of tin miners.Victoria Day (Scotland)
Victoria Day is a public holiday in parts of Eastern Central Scotland, chiefly the cities of Dundee and Edinburgh, although it was formerly more widespread. It is celebrated on the last Monday before or on 24 May and commemorates Queen Victoria's birthday (24 May 1819).
Traditionally schools, and some offices and shops, are closed on Victoria Day, but it is not a bank holiday, meaning that government offices and banks remain open. Because of its proximity to the Spring Bank Holiday a week later, Victoria Day is often marked on that date. As with many public holidays very few shops in Scotland now observe it.
In 2017, the City of Dundee council lists the Spring Bank Holiday (29th May) as Victoria Day, whilst the City of Edinburgh lists Victoria Day as being 22nd May. It is no longer listed as a recognised public holiday in areas where it was formerly observed, including Renfrewshire and Perth and Kinross.
It is also a holiday in Canada, celebrated at the same time.Whitsun
Whitsun (also Whitsunday or Whit Sunday) is the name used especially in Britain and Ireland, and throughout the world among Anglicans and Methodists, for the Christian festival of Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ's disciples (Acts 2). In England it took on some characteristics of Beltane, which originated from the pagan celebration of Summer's Day, the beginning of the summer half-year, in Europe. Whitsuntide, the week following Whitsunday, was one of three vacation weeks for the medieval villein; on most manors he was free from service on the lord's demesne this week, which marked a pause in the agricultural year. Whit Monday, the day after Whitsun, remained a holiday in Britain until 1971 when, with effect from 1972, the movable holiday was replaced with the fixed Spring Bank Holiday on the last Monday in May. Whit was the occasion for varied forms of celebration.
In the North West of England, church and chapel parades called whit walks still take place at this time (sometimes on Whit Friday, the Friday after Whitsun). Typically, the parades include brass bands and choirs; girls attending are dressed in white. Traditionally, Whit fairs (sometimes called Whitsun ales) took place. Other customs, such as Morris dancing, were associated with Whitsun, although in most cases they have been transferred to the Spring bank holiday. Whaddon, Cambridgeshire has its own Whitsun tradition of singing a unique song around the village before and on Whit Sunday itself.
Public holidays of the World