Next bank holidays England

Bank holidays 2016: When is your next day off?

There are just two weeks to go before the next bank holidays but, luckily, there are two close together - Good Friday and Easter Monday - so workers can enjoy a long weekend of fun.

Here is a rundown of the country's next days off:

Friday 25 March – Good Friday

Easter is always a highly anticipated event, combining as it does two bank holidays to give the majority of UK workers a four-day weekend. Traditionally, Good Friday is a sombre day, on which Christians mark Jesus's crucifixion with prayer and fasting.

Monday 28 March – Easter Monday

Historically, the resurrection of Jesus was celebrated with egg-rolling and games – some of which, such as the Hallaton Bottle Kicking contest, are still played today. Easter Monday is not an official break in Scotland, but many local authorities treat it as a public holiday so businesses can synchronise their opening times with the rest of the UK.

Monday 2 May – Early May bank holiday

The Early May festival ties in with the traditional May Day and is still celebrated in many parts of England with maypoles, Morris dancing and village fairs. The holiday is associated with the coming of spring and new life after the gloom of winter. In 2011, the government was reported to be considering a proposal to move this bank holiday to October, but no changes have been announced so far.

Monday 30 May – spring bank holiday

According to Timeanddate.com, the spring bank holiday started as the Monday after Pentecost – a day of religious significance to both Jews and Christians. In Judaism, it's known as Shavuot and marks the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. To Christians, the day commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and is sometimes known as the "Birthday of the Church".

Monday 29 August – summer bank holiday

The summer bank holiday was first enshrined in the Bank Holidays Act 1871. The holiday actually falls towards the end of the season, which is why it can be something of a washout. Notting Hill Carnival, Leeds and Reading Festivals and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival are among the popular annual events to take place over the festival.

Monday 26 December – Boxing Day

Boxing Day was previously known as St Stephen's Day. Many historians believe that the holiday's current name may have come from the church practice of opening alms boxes the day after Christmas to distribute donations to the poor. Historically, UK employers also offered workers and servants gifts or cash on 26 December and gave them the day off. While the gifts may have dried up in many modern workplaces, the day remains a bank holiday.

Tuesday 27 December – Christmas Day (substitute)

The final bank holiday of 2016 will be a substitute for Christmas Day, which falls on a Sunday this year. The 25 December is celebrated in many different ways around the world. Finns share a festive sauna, while in India families decorate a banana or mango tree and in Japan it has become customary to eat a festive feast of KFC on Christmas Day. Here in the UK, families traditionally tuck into turkey and open presents from stockings and under the tree.

Scotland

Scotland has a slightly different bank holiday schedule to England and Wales. Here are the next days off north of the border:

  • Friday 25 March – Good Friday
  • Monday 2 May – Early May bank holiday
  • Monday 30 May – spring bank holiday
  • Monday 1 August – summer bank holiday
  • Wednesday 30 November – St Andrew's Day

Interesting facts:

Acton Bridge railway station is near the village of Acton Bridge, Cheshire, in the northwest of England.
The station, and all the trains that stop here, are operated by London Midland; however, very few services call at this station on the service between Liverpool...

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