The UK observes Victory in Europe (VE) Day on 8 May each year. It is not normally a bank holiday, however in 2020 the date of the Early May Bank Holiday was moved to 8 May as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations.
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VE Day looks back to 8 May, 1945, when Nazi Germany officially surrendered and World War II came to an end in Europe. The war continued in the Pacific, but the victory in Europe meant that the eventual total victory of the Allies was virtually inevitable at that point.
The defeat of Germany in 1945 resulted in a massive celebration. Crowds poured into Trafalgar Square in London and streamed up to Buckingham Palace, where they saw Winston Churchill and their king and queen standing out on the balcony. The world had been saved. Britain had survived and triumphed against incredible odds. All was joy and a sense of relief in the knowledge that peace had finally come.
Later, parades, wreath-laying ceremonies, street parties, a thanksgiving service and concert in London, and brightly lit beacons spread throughout the country came to characterise VE Day. The whole modern world is largely a product of the outcome of World War II, and the UK still remembers that every eighth of May.
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