The Late May Bank Holiday is a “secular replacement” for the Whit Monday holiday. It is also known as the Spring Bank Holiday and is held annually at the end of May to create a long weekend.
|2019||27 May||Mon||Late May Bank Holiday||National|
|2020||25 May||Mon||Late May Bank Holiday||National|
*Please refer to this note for Scotland-specific information.
In the past, Whit Monday was an off-day that came the day after Whit Sunday, which commemorated the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church on the Day of Pentecost. In 1971, the Banking and Financial Dealings Act changed the date of the holiday to make it fall on the last Monday in May rather than on the day after Whit Sunday, which itself fell seven Sundays past Easter.
Oddly, the 1971 statute does not give an official name to this holiday, but it is often called Spring or May Bank Holiday.
As a secular, nameless holiday, the Late May Bank Holiday is used by many as simply a time to relax with family or to travel. Many also take long walks through the spring countryside, stock up at garden centres, or do home improvement jobs.