May is one of the best months of the year: spring is in full swing, warmer weather is almost always certain and most importantly, we get two bank holidays. However, the dates of those extra breaks are set to change next year.
As you’ll probably know, the spring bank holidays always fall on the first and last Mondays in May. But this is now being changed so that the first one falls on a Friday instead, after some MPs called for the early May holiday, known as May Day, to be moved in 2020.
Business Secretary Greg Clark first suggested that date should be moved from Monday 4 May, to Friday 8 May, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, also known as VE Day – and now it’s been made official.
8 May 1945 was the date the Allies celebrated the defeat of Nazi Germany, marking the end of the Second World War in Europe. The occasion was celebrated by millions, with huge crowds gathering on the streets of London and the rest of the country to party.
Making a case for the date to be moved, Clark wrote in a letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond: ‘I believe that the country should be allowed to take time to commemorate this great occasion, and to recall those who sacrificed their lives in the Second World War on behalf of us all.’ He added that it would be a ‘tragedy’ if VE Day ‘slipped from the minds of the general public’.
As reported by The Times, Clark did acknowledge at the time that the change in dates could course some disruption to the school holiday calendar, but it looks like the change won’t be too much of an issue as The Association of School and College Leaders has supported the plan.
‘It would provide a good opportunity to engage young people in learning and activities about this important historical event,’ they told The Times.
The new date for the May bank holiday will be put into action in 2020.