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Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales)
MonAug 26

Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales) – August 26, 2024

On the last Monday of August we have Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales), taking place on August 26 this year. It gives everyone a chance to enjoy the last of summer holidays before a continuous grind until Christmas starts. Initially created as a way to allow bank workers to watch a key cricket match, the Summer Bank Holiday is now a public holiday in England and Wales. What is interesting is that any public holiday is now referred to as a bank holiday. With a few exceptions, most businesses and bank branches are closed on the designated day. Festivals and carnivals become a source of entertainment for many people. The Notting Hill Carnival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival are just some of the most anticipated highlight events during the Summer Bank Holiday.

History of Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales)

The Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales) goes all the way back to the 19th century. In 1871, Sir John Lubbock, who was a Liberal politician, scientist, and banker, introduced the Bank Holidays Act. Previously, the bank workers got holidays according to the customary religious festivals that the country celebrated. Such holidays included Easter and Christmas. However, Lubbock, who worked as a banker himself in his family company, felt that more holidays needed to be given to bank workers during other important occasions, and in this case, this other important occasion included a cricket match. Once the Act was approved and implemented, it meant that no bank workers were compelled to go to their workplaces in order to provide service to incoming customers. Some people were so overjoyed with this new development that they initially referred to the first few years’ bank holidays as Sir John Lubbock’s Days.

The Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales) takes place on the last Monday of August. Yet, this wasn’t always the case. Along with Scotland and Northern Ireland, England and Wales celebrated the Summer Bank Holiday on the first Monday of August. This was challenged by some politicians in court, and a trial started in 1965. More than half a decade later, the Summer Bank Holiday for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland was moved to the last Monday instead of the first. Scotland, to this day, continues to practice the Summer Bank Holiday on the first Monday of the month. During the three-day-long weekend, people spend the days out and about to enjoy the last of the summer festivities. One very renowned festival takes place in Notting Hill. It was first held in 1965 by immigrants from the Caribbean who were protesting against racism. The event is famous for its dances, music, and elaborate costumes. Being one of the popular festivals of all time, each year the event attracts at least two million audiences. Other festivals include the Manchester Pride Festival and the Creamfields Dance Music Festival of Cheshire.

Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales) timeline

33 Holidays Reduced

Instead of 33, the Bank of England starts observing only four holidays, namely Christmas, May Day, Good Friday, and All Saints’ Day.

Bank Holidays Act Passed

Sir John Lubbock introduces the Bank Holidays Act to relieve bank workers of work when important occasions take place.

First Notting Hill Festival Celebrated

The Caribbean immigrants hold the first Notting Hill Festival as a way of protesting against poor living conditions and racism.

New Year’s Day as Bank Holiday

New Year’s Day is added to the list of Bank Holidays observed by England.

Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales) FAQs

Is the second of August a holiday in England and Wales?

No, the second of August is not a holiday in England and Wales. However, it is a holiday in Scotland. 

What are the 8 bank holidays in England?

The eight bank holidays in England are as follows: “New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, Late Summer, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.”

Do we get an extra bank holiday in England in 2021?

No, there is no extra bank holiday in 2021, but in 2022, there will be a bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

How To Celebrate Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales)

  1. Have a lie-in

    Holidays are there to give us a break from the daily grind of life. Use this chance to wake up late and lie in your bed for as long as you want. It will help give you a lease of freshness by giving you a break from waking up early for the rest of the year.

  2. Get out and about

    Enjoy the last few days of summer before fall and winter sets in. Get in that much-needed dose of sunshine and nature. Go for a walk or a picnic in the park, or try dining out in the open instead of choosing the indoor areas. But, most importantly, remember to just breathe.

  3. Visit local festivals and carnivals

    This time of the year is when some of the greatest shows are taking place. Be sure not to miss them by planning ahead. Look up the local festivals in your area. Invite your friends and family to join you for a fun day out.

5 Facts About Public Holidays That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Asia has the highest number of holidays

    Asians enjoy some of the highest number of public holidays with Cambodia taking the lead of having 28 public holidays.

  2. New Year’s Day is the most popular

    About 90% of the world’s population enjoys a day off on January 1.

  3. Many emails are sent during holidays

    A good chunk of email, around 25%, is sent during the holidays.

  4. Twitter for gift ideas

    If you are having trouble deciding the best gifts for your loved ones, head over to Twitter because 55% of Twitter users will also be having a gift-giving discussion.

  5. Half a billion turkeys eaten during Thanksgiving

    51 million turkeys are consumed every year on Thanksgiving Day.

Why We Love Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales)

  1. It’s a celebration of fleeting moments

    Many of us realize the importance of special occasions in our lives. We may miss them due to work or school. But public holidays allow us that extra time to enjoy the day with our loved ones to the fullest by celebrating the amazing, but fleeting moments in our day-to-day lives.

  2. It’s a celebration of last summer days

    Summer is an underrated season. In places where it's cold and gloomy for the majority of the year, the summer season can bring in the much-desired need for warmer weather that allows us to move out and about freely. Getting the Summer Bank Holiday, therefore, means one extra day of taking in the sun before we are back to our work.

  3. It’s a celebration of freshness

    Who doesn’t love getting a holiday? We certainly do! Public holidays are days filled with relaxation, breaks, and an opportunity to unwind. These activities can not only bring on freshness to life but can also mean quality time with friends and family.

Summer Bank Holiday (England and Wales) dates

2022August 29Monday
2023August 28Monday
2024August 26Monday
2025August 25Monday
2026August 31Monday

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