When is Early May Bank Holiday 2021?
Most countries celebrate it as International Labour Day, but the UK call it Early May Day. England, Wales and Northern Ireland also refer it as May Day. The day was declared a holiday in 1978, though Scotland was already observing it as a bank holiday since 1871.
Is Early May a Bank Holiday?
Early May Bank Holiday is observed on the first Monday of the month. Early May Day is an official bank holiday in the UK and thus a day off for the general population.
What is open or closed on Early May Bank Holiday?
Like any other bank holiday, government offices, schools, banks and most businesses close their operations for the day. However, a few retail shops and supermarkets remain open, but their operating hours are subject to change. The public transport is not majorly affected, but the buses and trains are likely to alter their schedules and run to a holiday timetable.
What is the origin of the Early May Bank Holiday?
The United Kingdom has a history of May celebrations dating back in the pagan times. These celebrations are often associated with fertility rituals and celebrations of flora, a Roman goddess. For this reason, May Day has been considered unchristian, and there have been many attempts to outlaw it.
Following protests by International Workers' Day in 1890, Early May Bank Holiday was later brought about to mark International Labour Day.
In 2011, the British parliament proposed replacing the Early May Day Bank Holiday with a different holiday in October. Although the reasoning was valid, to have a more even spread out of the holidays throughout the year, it was decided to have the date unchanged.
What is Early May Bank Holiday VE Day
Early May Day has been moved on a couple of times from the first Monday of the month to the second Monday. In 1995, the date was changed to mark the 50th anniversary of Victory Europe Day (VE), which fell on a Monday. In 2020, the holiday was moved to the following Monday to coincide with the diamond anniversary of the end of World War II. As a result, many people have resulted in calling such a special day Early May Bank Holiday VE Day.
Things to do on Early May Bank Holiday
Besides dining out and taking advantage of Early May Bank holiday deals on shopping sprees, there is still plenty of fun activities you can take part in to mark this day in style.
There is likely to be several campaigns, marches, and rallies of workers' rights in many towns. These rallies are organized by trade unions, who are often demanding rights for the workers. You may plan on attending as this can educate you a lot about your rights as an employer or employee.
Traditionally, May Day had been associated with maypole dancing. Mostly, the dance is done around a tall pole that has been decorated with colourful ribbons, thus creating a decorating pattern as the dancers go round the poles with their movements. It is believed that ancient soldiers welcomed Spring by dancing around decorated trees to appease their goddess, Flora. Try to check around your town as there might be a Maypole dancing taking place.
If you live in Rochester, you may consider attending the chimney sweep festival that happens on this date. Similarly, villagers in Derbyshire often decorate and dress wells with flowers. Apparently, decorating homes with flowers and leaves is believed to crown the Roman goddess Flora thus thanking her for the Spring season. In some areas, girls go out early to wash their faces in the morning dew as this they believe will make them more beautiful in the coming year. You may consider trying out some of these traditions on the Early May Bank Holiday and see how it goes.
Early May Bank Holiday Observances
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