Early May bank holiday to move from a Monday in 2020 - this is why

The early May Day bank holiday will be moved back four days in 2020 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Saturday, 26th October 2019, 9:00 am
VE Day in London on May 8, 1945 Picture: PA/PA Wire

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

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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.

As part of the VE Day commemorations, more than 20,000 pubs will encourage drinkers to toast the heroes of the war while churches will take part in a Ringing Out For Peace.

The bank holiday will move in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not necessarily in Scotland as bank holidays are devolved to Holyrood.

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.