When is May Day bank holiday 2020 – and why has it changed this year?

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  • The coronavirus pandemic may mean that we're all in lockdown at home, but that doesn't mean we aren't looking forward to the upcoming May Day Bank Holiday weekend.

    It means the chance to enjoy an extra day off of work without having to dip into our allocated holiday allowance.

    Normally, many of us would spend the extended weekend relaxing with friends or family, or visiting our local pubs or restaurants.

    But while we may not be able to spend the May bank holiday in quite the same way this year, it’s still a welcome opportunity to unwind and have some fun at home. Or, it could be a chance to finally get some of those arduous household tasks done…

    So when does the early May bank holiday actually take place this year?

    So when is the May Day bank holiday 2020?

    This year, the earlier May Bank Holiday takes place on Friday 8th May.

    This means that the three-day weekend will run from Friday 8th – Sunday 10th May.

    But this date is actually a little later than previous years.

    Normally, the first May Bank Holiday falls on the first Monday of the month, while the later Spring bank holiday usually takes place on the last Monday of the month.

    This means that the early Bank Holiday this year should have been on Monday 4th May.

    Why has the May Day bank holiday changed this year?

    Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the bank holiday was changed for 2020, in order to coincide with VE Day. VE Day stands for Victory in Europe Day.

    This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, so the intention was to have the celebrations for the significant date match up with the extended period off of work.

    Reportedly, the plan was for churches around the UK to take part in a Ringing Out For Peace, as well as pubs conducting a ‘Toast for Heroes’, at 3pm on 8th May.

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    But, due to the ongoing pandemic, all VE Day events have now been cancelled, following the ban on public events and large mass gatherings. Instead, the public are now being encouraged to raise a glass to those who gave their lives during the war from the safety of their own homes, at 3pm on the Bank Holiday.

    According to The Sun, the change of date was announced last June. However, it unfortunately meant that many pre-printed calendars and diaries had marked the wrong May Bank Holiday date – so if you use one regularly, make sure you’ve got the correct date down in yours!

    It’s important to note that, despite the change to the first May Bank Holiday, the date for the later May Bank Holiday remains unchanged. It will still take place on Monday 25th May.