May bank holiday 2020: when is the first May bank holiday in the North West and why has it changed to a Friday?
The month of May has two bank holidays every year, with one at the beginning and one at the end of the month.
But this year, instead of landing on a Monday, the first May bank holiday in the North West will instead be on a Friday.
May bank holiday change in 2020
Instead of taking place on Monday 4 May, the first May bank holiday of 2020 in the North West has been being moved to Friday 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
According to Gov.uk, this is “only the second time ever that the early May bank holiday has been moved – the first was in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day.”
Commemorating VE Day
There will be commemorative events across the country to honour the sacrifice that men and women made during the Second World War.
Gov.uk added, “The occasion will remember the contribution of British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces personnel; those who contributed to the war effort and safeguarded the Home Front.
“As well as marking the Allies’ victory in 1945, the bank holiday will serve as an opportunity to pay tribute to those who have served and continue to serve in the UK Armed Forces and their families.”
What is VE day?
On 8 May 1945, VE (Victory in Europe) Day signified an end to nearly six years of a war, with millions of people rejoicing in the news that Germany had surrendered.
People marked the victory in towns and cities across the world with street parties, dancing and singing.
This year, to mark the 75th anniversary, commemorative events will take place over the three day weekend across the UK, including:
The Nation’s Toast, where over 20,000 pubs will encourage patrons to raise a glass to the Heroes of World War II
Bagpipers playing the traditional Battle’s O’er at the top of the 4 highest peaks in the UK – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, Mount Snowdon in Wales, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland
Bells in churches and cathedrals across the nation joining forces in a special Ringing Out for Peace
Local street parties and celebrations across the 3-day weekend
In 2019, Business Secretary Greg Clark said, “Moving next year’s early May bank holiday to VE Day itself is a right and fitting tribute.
“It will ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to remember and honour our heroes of the Second World War and reflect on the sacrifices of a generation.