Living in Great Britain, from Netherlands
"I wish I'd found InterNations sooner: It would have made my first few month as an expat in London much less overwhelming."
Living in Great Britain, from Ghana
"For me, the InterNations events are the best part. I attend almost every get-together and always get to know lots of friendly fellow expats."
Culture, Shopping & Recreation
Depending on which one of the four regions you live in, there are between eight and ten bank holidays in the UK. The InterNations expat guide tells you all about these official public holidays in the UK, and introduces you to other holidays on the yearly calendar.
Bank Holidays in the UK
Public holidays in the UK are commonly referred to as bank holidays. As the UK is a country made of four more or less independent regions, official holidays in the UK depend on if you live in England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.
There are eight bank holidays in England and Wales:
- New Year’s Day: January 1
In Scotland, the summer bank holiday is earlier in August. Moreover, Scots celebrate St. Andrew’s Day on November 30. The 2nd of January is also a bank holiday in Scotland, but Easter Monday is not. All in all, there are nine bank holidays in Scotland.
In Northern Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17, is a bank holiday, as well as Orangemen’s Day on July 12, which commemorates the Battle of Boyne. There is a total of ten bank holidays in Northern Ireland, meaning it is the region with the most holidays in the UK.
Please remember that, while banks in the UK are indeed closed, your employer is not necessarily obligated to give you paid leave on bank holidays. Also, today many shops are still open on holidays in the UK, so not everyone even has these days off.
When bank holidays in the UK fall on a weekend, the following Monday is usually a holiday as well. This is called a “substitute” holiday. For instance, there will be a substitute holiday for Boxing Day on Monday, December 28, 2015.
The UK does not have a national day, making it only one of two countries in the world without one (the other country is Denmark). This is slightly ironic considering that many countries in the world have national days to celebrate independence from British rule.
Other Holidays in the UK
There are, of course, more celebrations and special occasions than just bank holidays in the UK.
Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night)
“Remember, remember, the fifth of November . . .” This slightly haunting rhyme introduces Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night. It is one of the most unique holidays in the UK.