This is why the May Day bank holiday has been moved later in 2020

The early May Day bank holiday is being moved back four days this year to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Monday, 4th May 2020, 3:30 pm
Updated Monday, 4th May 2020, 3:37 pm

VE Day - or Victory in Europe Day - is marked on May 8 and commemorates the Allies accepting the surrender of Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

The May Day bank holiday is usually held on a Monday but will be put back to the Friday and form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events.

Speaking in June 2019 Sir Andrew Gregory, chief executive of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, said it was a ‘fitting’ idea.

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VE Day street party at Nettlecombe Avenue, Southsea, in 2015. Picture: Paul Jacobs (150510-4)

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He said: ‘It is our duty to keep the events of the past alive in collective memory, including future generations - this is how we ensure that such a conflict never happens again.

‘It is our hope that the nation takes a moment to reflect on the significance of this date, as a milestone that changed the course of history for the whole world.’

The announcement was made following D-Day commemorations in June 2019.

VE Day in London on May 8, 1945 Picture: PA/PA Wire

Many VE Day events have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and some are being held online instead.

In Portsmouth a spectacular light show will illuminate the sky as the city marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Residents across the city are urged to get their torches out and shine them into the sky from their gardens or balconies as part of the From Darkness to Light spectacle.

The bank holiday will move in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The May Day bank holiday has only ever been moved once before, when it was shifted from May 1 to May 8 in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day.