top of page

British Bank Holidays & Celebration Days

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

by Stephen Andrews (単語・表現リスト by Shigeri Nishide)

There’s nothing British people like more than a day off work. Luckily, they don’t always have to phone in sick in order to get one.

That’s because, every year in the UK, there are roughly fifteen Bank Holidays when you don’t have to go into the office. Plus there are another fifteen days or so when a special event is celebrated. These aren’t holidays and you still have to go to work, but you do have a great excuse to go out afterwards and party!

Bank Holidays

A Bank Holiday, as the name suggests, is a day when banks close for business. In England and Wales, there are eight Bank Holidays every year. But Scotland has another two and Ireland, an extra one.

They were introduced in Britain by Sir John Lubbock, a banker and politician, who in, 1871, drafted the Bank Holiday Bill in Parliament

Initially, it was just banks and financial buildings that closed, which is where the name comes from. But as time went on, businesses, shops, and schools all joined in.

Your Bank Holiday Diary 2022

January 1st, New Year’s Day, is the first day of the new year. Because the 1st January was a Saturday this year, the following Monday, January 3rd became a day off.

April 15th, known as Good Friday, is a traditional Easter holiday, celebrating Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. In Britain, the Easter weekend celebrations this year continue through Easter Sunday, April 17th, with Easter Monday on April 18th also being a holiday. Last year, Easter fell a lot earlier, on Sunday 4th April. The reason for this is that the date of Easter is always calculated from the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox in March.

May 2nd is the May Bank Holiday. It’s usually held on the May 1st, or the first Monday of the month, which, this year, happens to be May 2nd.

2022 is a special year because it’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on June 3rd, marking the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne on 6 February 1952. Because of this, the Spring Bank Holiday, which is usually held on the last Monday of May, has been delayed to Thursday 2nd June. So you’ll enjoy a 4-day long celebratory weekend, from June 2nd to Sunday June 5th.

August 29th is the late Summer Bank Holiday, held on every last Monday of August.

Everyone loves Christmas. In 2022, because the 25th December falls on a Saturday, a Bank Holiday has been added on Tuesday 27th December. So, once again, you can enjoy a 4-day break.

December 26th is Boxing Day. The name comes from a time when the rich used to box up Christmas gifts to give to the poor.

Scotland & Ireland

In Scotland, August 1st is a Summer Bank Holiday, held on the first Monday of every August. November 30th is St. Andrew’s Day in Scotland, a public holiday held for the patron saint of Scotland. The day might include a special type of party called a ceilidh, pronounced /keɪli:/, where people enjoy Scottish country dancing.

In Ireland, March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, a public holiday celebrating St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. People attend parades, wear green with shamrocks (Ireland’s national flower) and drink Irish beer and whisky.

Special Celebration Days 2022

January 25th is Burns Night in Scotland. This marks the birthday of Robert Burns, the famous 18th century Scottish poet. People drink lots of whisky and read his poetry in pubs.

St. Valentine’s Day falls on February 14th, an important date for your diary. Don’t forget to buy your loved one a card and take them out for dinner!

March 1st, is known as Shrove Tuesday, a part of the Easter time celebrations. This is traditionally a religious day, where sweet things are eaten, also called Pancake Day when you can stuff yourself full of pancakes. It is always 46 days before Easter and so falls on different days each year.

Ash Wednesday is another Easter celebration, always taking place on the day after Shrove Tuesday. This year it takes place on March 2nd. In the Roman Catholic Church, people have ash smeared on their forehead, symbolising human mortality and giving the day its name.

On March 27th British Summer time begins, when the days get lighter and longer. This always happens on the last Sunday of March and, this year, coincides with Mother’s Day, which is always held three weeks before Easter Sunday. Time to treat your Mum to something nice!

April 1st, April Fool’s Day, is a great chance to play a joke on your friends. For example, you could tell them that the Queen is going to come around for tea. And then, if they believe you, shout ‘April Fool!’

April 23rd, St. George’s Day, is the anniversary of England's patron saint. Flags with the image of St George's cross are flown on some buildings, especially pubs, and a few people wear a red rose on their lapel.

Father’s Day is held on the third Sunday of June and this year is on June 19th. You’ve celebrated Mother’s Day, now it’s time to buy Dad something special!

This year, on October 30th British Summer Time ends, marking the end of summer and the coming of shorter, darker days. This always happens on the last Sunday of October.

Halloween, on October 31st, was originally a religious celebration called All Hallows. But now, it’s the perfect opportunity for the kids, or the grown-ups, to get dressed up in something spooky such as a ghoulish ghost or wicked witch!

November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night and Fireworks Night. In case you didn’t know, Guy Fawkes was a man who tried to blow up the British Houses of Parliament with gunpowder in 1605.

Remembrance Day is commemorated on November 11th each year and marks the end of World War I in 1918. Together with Remembrance Sunday on November 13th, it’s held to remember the fallen on both sides in World War I. People wear poppies and there is a national minute of silence on the day.

Christmas time! The Christmas season starts on December 24th Christmas Eve and continues through to December 30th, New Year’s Eve.

So, as you can see, the British calendar is full of interesting events. They not only give an insight into history, but like Guy Fawkes Night and Halloween, are great fun, too.

As for me, I love Bank Holidays. After all, they mean that we get roughly an extra two weeks off work every year!



phone in sick : 電話して病気なので休むと言う

bill : 新しい法律提案

the Resurrection : キリストの復活

the Spring Equinox :  春分の日

accession to the throne: (女)王位への即位

shamrocks : クローバーの種類(アイルランドの国花は三つ葉)

lapel : スーツなどの襟の下の部分(細長い方の部分)

spooky : 不気味な、お化けがでそうな





Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page