June Bank Holiday, celebrated on the first Monday in June, was formerly commemorated with a separate holiday known as Whit Monday — also referred to as Pentecost Monday. This year, it falls on June 5. Whit Monday is a holiday observed the day after Pentecost Sunday, also known as Whitsunday. Pentecost commemorates the time when the Holy Spirit descended on Christ’s disciples — marking the end of the Easter season. Whit Monday became a public holiday in Ireland while it was still a part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland is the last remaining part of the United Kingdom. Because Easter is a religious holiday, the Irish have historically commemorated with religious activities in previous years.
History of June Bank Holiday
June Bank Holiday was officially declared a national holiday in 1974. Whit Monday, also known as Pentecost Monday, is the origin of this holiday — initially declared a public holiday in Ireland by the “Bank Holidays Act 1871,” back when Ireland was still a part of the United Kingdom.
This year, Whit Sunday falls on the sixth Sunday after Easter, implying that while the date of Easter moves around in the calendar year, the date of Whit Monday does not. It was decided that this holiday should be celebrated on a more frequent basis in the future. The “Holidays (Employees) Act of 1973” moved the holiday to the first Monday in June in 1974, and the holiday was renamed the following year to the First Monday in June. In the United Kingdom, a similar adjustment was made — although the final Monday in May was chosen instead.
The first Monday in June is typically a quiet day in the public realm. Banks, post offices, and many other businesses and organizations close their doors. On the other hand, stores and pubs are generally open, albeit they may open later and close earlier than usual due to the holiday. The schedules of public transportation services vary depending on where one lives and where one intends to travel. The festivities celebrated by the Irish throughout the day are no longer religious but relatively secular. Even though Ireland’s June Bank Holiday is a movable celebration that changes from year to year, it is always observed on the first Monday in June.
June Bank Holiday timeline
Before 1830, the Bank of England was closed on approximately 40 saints' days and anniversaries, but that number is reduced to 18 during this year.
In 1834, the number of bank holidays is reduced to four — Good Friday, Christmas Day, May 1, and November 1.
In England, Ireland, and Wales, the following days are designated as bank holidays — Easter Monday, Whitmonday, the first Monday of August, and December 26 if it falls on a weekday.
“The Holidays (Employees) Act of 1973” shifts the holiday to the first Monday in June.
June Bank Holiday FAQs
Is June 2 and June 3, 2022, a bank holiday?
It has been announced that there will be an additional bank holiday this year to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This will occur on Friday, June 3, 2022, and because the late May bank holiday has been moved to Thursday, June 2, 2022, it will be a special four-day weekend.
What is the most popular Irish holiday?
St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day honors Saint Patrick as well as the advent of Christianity in Ireland and is arguably Ireland’s most popular holiday for both locals and tourists.
Is Ireland good for vacation?
Ireland is worth visiting not only for its natural beauty and history but also for its vibrant atmosphere. The Irish are known worldwide for their festive celebrations, and the country hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year.
June Bank Holiday Activities
Attend the Cork Harbor Festival
Several events are usually planned in the run-up to the June Bank Holiday in Ireland. The Cork Harbour Festival is one of the most well-known festivals in the country — lasting several days and spanning the June Bank Holiday.
Attend the Carrick carnival
In addition to the list of June Festivals in Ireland, “The Carrick Carnival”— a 10-day festival — is another Irish festival that attracts many visitors during the holiday season. Attend if you can!
Take part in “V.H.I. Women's Mini Marathon”
Sporting events are also common in Ireland during the June Bank Holiday. One is the V.H.I. Women's Mini Marathon in Dublin.
5 Interesting Facts About Ireland
The Shannon River is Ireland's longest river
The magnificent River Shannon is Ireland's longest river, stretching 370 kilometers.
Carrauntoohil is Ireland's highest peak
Carrauntoohil in County Kerry is the tallest mountain in Ireland, rising 1,038.6 meters above sea level.
The first potato was planted in 1588
Many moons ago, a young man named Sir Walter Raleigh planted the first potato in Ireland on a farm close to his home in Youghal, County Cork.
Halloween started in Ireland
Halloween started in ancient Ireland, where the story begins with the pagan festival of Samhain.
Home to the world's oldest yacht club
The Royal Cork Yacht Club holds the distinction of being the world's oldest yacht club.
Why We Love June Bank Holiday
Drive about twenty minutes from Dublin's city center, and you'll be in the thick of what Ireland is famed for — fields of 40 different colors of green. What a superb way to spend a day.
Every town and city in the country has a mix of traditional and contemporary bars and a nightclub. Go ahead, paint the town red!
Ireland has a rich history. The first known settlement began 8,000 years ago, and they have strong ties to descendants of the Iberian Peninsula, Vikings, and others.
June Bank Holiday dates