Please explain what a bank holiday is

Old Mar 24th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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Please explain what a bank holiday is

I'd heard that there is one of these in the end of May. Does this mean a 3 day week-end, or something longer? I was looking at a cottage rental web-site and the week of May 28 to June 3 is included in high season rates. Do most people take this whole week off? When do kids get out of school so that families are free to go on vacation for the summer? Thanks from someone who lives in the US and is unfamiliar with traditions of the UK.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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Well, Monday,May 30th is Memorial Day and banks will be closed. I don't think most people take the whole week off, but I'm sure many do. My daughter gets out of school on May 25th, so it's entirely possible that lots of folks will be vacationing the following week.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 01:08 PM
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Bank Holiday comes twice a year - the last Monday in May and last in August i believe - named so probably because banks are closed - would be interested in hearing derivation from a Brit. But it's a three-day weekend that may well extend into weeklong vacations for some. but i understand it's like our Memorial Day weekend - just a long weekend - they may put the whole week in peak period because of the 3 or 4 day period when things are hectic if they book by the week only. For tourists in London, etc., the impact is minimal though many smaller stores will be closed.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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The best way to think of a Bank Holiday is any equate it to any US holiday where you get the Monday as leave - It makes sense to book a vacation since you only have to use 4 days leave and still get a whole week to get away.

Whitsuntide - end of May, school's out for that week.

BTW, In the UK - Easter is a 2 week vacation for most schools, Easter Sunday falls in the middle and most businesses close Good Friday and Easter Monday

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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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Hi Julies

A bank holiday is basically a public holiday - we in the UK get 8 of these each year, the most well known being Xmas Day/ New Years Day and two for Good Friday and Easter Monday. The one at the end of May always occurs on the last monday in May and is for Whitsun. The schools are closed all week at this time for a half term holiday hence the high season rates as many families like to go away during this week. For your information the other bank holidays we have are on first monday in May (May Day), last monday in August and 26th Dec (Boxing Day). The only time we ever get any additional days are when the Queen has a jubilee - although the government is apparantly considering adding another bank holiday to our calender.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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Bank holidays are public holidays in England and Wales. They include the first and last Mondays of May and the last Monday of August. At the end of May, schools have a half-term holiday which is normally one week. Many families will thus take advantage of this week to go away, which is why the cottage charges peak-season rates. The school summer holiday usually lasts around seven weeks from mid-July to early-September.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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The bank holiday at the end of May is often incorrectly called Whitsun. The date of Whitsun varies, like the date of Easter, and Whit Monday this year is 16 May. It is religious event and is a public holiday in some European countries, but not in the UK.
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Old Mar 24th, 2005, 01:28 PM
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GeoffHamer

Wow, isn't it amazing what you discover?

We always went to Cornwall for this week (which my parents always called Whitsuntide Week) Right at the beginning of the season but not too busy and we usually had good weather. Wonderful memories, It was the one time of year where we had new clothes. So in the spirit of good family memories I'll have to think of that week as Whitsun - but I won't mis-inform anyone else

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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 02:37 AM
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GeoffHamer is more technically accurate than Kevey.

Bank Holidays are only necessarily public holidays in Engerland. We oop north have no holiday on Monday, for example, but we were closed yesterday
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 03:31 AM
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Interesting, perhaps thats where "bankers hours" is derived from. Why do banks need holidays and special hours? Moreover, why does a tourist really need a bank? I hope you are travelling with your ATM card and can just pop it in a machine 24/7 and benefit with better exchange rates, with the shape of the USD any bit helps.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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Hi--one caveat to trav 863--I have had a couple of sporadic times in the US when the machine "ate" my card. If the bank is closed when you use your card, there is no way to get it back--something that becomes a much more serious problem in a foreign country.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 06:52 AM
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well, the post is kinda few weeks old, but I couldn't resist posting the interesting historical facts about bank holidays in UK. Enjoy...

Bank holidays were first introduced by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, which designated four holidays in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and five in Scotland. These were Easter Monday, the first Monday in August, the 26th December, and Whit Monday (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and New Year's Day, Good Friday, the first Monday in May, the first Monday in August, and Christmas Day (Scotland). In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, both Christmas Day and Good Friday were traditional days of rest and Christian worship (as were Sundays) and did not need to be included in the Act.

Two additional days were subsequently appointed in Northern Ireland: St Patrick's Day (17 March) by a special Act of Parliament in 1903 and 12 July (Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690), by the Governor of Northern Ireland in 1926.

The 1871 Act was repealed 100 years later and its provisions incorporated into the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, which remains the statutory basis for bank holidays. The following changes were introduced both then and subsequently:

* 1971 - Whit Monday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (which could fall anywhere between 11 May and 14 June) was formally replaced by a fixed spring holiday on the last Monday in May. The last Monday in August was formally made a bank holiday in place of the first Monday in August in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In both cases, this followed a trial period of the new arrangements between 1965 and 1970.
* 1973 - 2 January was created an additional bank holiday in Scotland by the 1971 Act. However, the provision did not come into effect until 1973.
* 1974 - New Year's Day became an additional bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Boxing Day became an additional bank holiday in Scotland.
* 1978 - the first Monday in May in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the last Monday in May in Scotland, became additional bank holidays.

Bank holidays designated since the 1971 Act are appointed each year by Royal Proclamation. The Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne bank holiday is proclaimed annually by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 07:55 AM
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In the Isle of Man (independedent, but part of the British Isles), we have two additional Bank Holidays.
One is the last raceday during the TT motorcycle races, Senior Race day and is the first Friday in June.
The other one is Tynwald Day, which is 5 July, which is a celebration of our independence.

Also in the United Kingdom, if Christmas day, Boxing Day and New Years Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, additional days are given in lieu.

Some companies count the Bank Holidays as part of the annual holiday allowance, others (like mine) regard the Bank Holidays as extra days.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 08:20 AM
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The term Bank Holiday is not without application in the US.

If I remember aright, Roosevelt declared a Bank holiday -- that was the term I remember reading -- once during the Depression to stop runs on the banks.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 08:22 AM
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Roosevelt's fireside chat broadcast in early March 1933:

"By the afternoon of March 3rd scarcely a bank in the country was open to do business. Proclamations temporarily closing them in whole or in part had been issued by the Governors in almost all the States.

"It was then that I issued the proclamation providing for the nationwide bank holiday, and this was the first step in the Government's reconstruction of our financial and economic fabric."
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 09:49 AM
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A bank holiday is when half the country get into their cars and join a queue for

a) the coast/countryside
b) Ikea
c) B & Q
d) the local garden centre

and the other half stay at home trying to keep the rain off their barbecues and smugly congratulating themselves on not being in a queue for............

You get the picture.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2005, 11:31 AM
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In the interests of historical accuracy, I must add that a few years ago (I can't be bothered looking up the details) the Scottish banks were required to merge their hols with the English ones. This is a pain in the backside for those of us in business in Scotland who have to work whilst the banks are closed
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