May 2020 Bank Holiday is moving for the 75th anniversary of VE Day
Over a month ago
Bank Holiday Friday
The May Day Bank Holiday traditionally held on a Monday will be put back to the Friday and form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events of the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, is marked on 8th May and commemorates the Allies accepting the surrender of Nazi Germany in the second world war.
Business Secretary Greg Clark announced the holiday will move from Monday, May 4 to Friday, May 8 - so people can pay tribute to those who served in the Second World War.
Sir Andrew Gregory, the chief executive of SSAFA, the armed forces charity, said it was a fitting idea.
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.”
Bagpipers will also play the traditional Battle’s O’er at the top of the four highest peaks in the UK - Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, Mount Snowdon in Wales and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland. As part of the VE Day commemorations, more than 20,000 pubs encouraging people to toast the heroes of the war, while churches will take part in a Ringing Out For Peace.
The announcement follows events across the UK and France to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-day landings.
This will be the second time ever that the early May bank holiday has been moved - the first was 25 years ago in 1995 to mark VE Day's 50th anniversary.
The bank holiday will move in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not necessarily in Scotland as bank holidays are devolved to Holyrood.