Bank holidays are days off from work. No public offices (or, of course, banks) are open during bank holidays but most shops are and shopping is actually a very popular bank holiday activity. Make sure to check opening times before visiting on these days as some shops will operate reduced opening times. When a holiday like Christmas lands on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is made a holiday.
The next bank holidays for 2013 are Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25th and Boxing Day, Thursday, December 26th.
|New Year’s Day – Celebrate the new year!||January 1||Wednesday||Thursday|
|Good Friday – Christian holiday – The Friday preceding Easter commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.||Varies||Friday, April 18||Friday, April 3|
|Easter Monday – Christian holiday – Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. Eat lots of chocolate.||Varies||Monday, April 21||Monday, April 6|
|Early May Bank Holiday – Celebrate May Day and check out the Morris dancers in Kent.||Varies||Monday, May 5||Monday, May 4|
|Spring Bank Holiday – Celebrate spring.||Varies||Monday, May 26||Monday, May 25|
|Summer Bank Holiday – Celebrate summer and hope for good weather.||Varies||Monday, August 25||Monday, August 31|
|Christmas Day – Christian holiday – Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus. Gather with friends and family and exchange gifts. This is the biggest holiday of the year in the UK.||December 25||Thursday||Friday|
|Boxing Day – The day after Christmas is traditionally a day to give gifts to the less fortunate.||December 26||Friday||Monday, December 28 (Substitute day)|
Special Bank Holidays
Laws allow the dates of bank holidays to be changed, or other holidays to be declared, for example to celebrate special occasions. Recent examples of special bank holidays were the Millennium holiday in 1999, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, Kate Middleton and William Windsor wedding on the 29th April 2011 and for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 5th June 2012.
School term dates differ from school to school, in particular there are differences between private/independent schools and local authority-run schools, A standard school year is divided into three school terms with a short break in the middle.
- Summer holiday: late July to early September
- Autumn half term: final week of October
- Christmas holidays: 20 December to 6 January
- Spring half term: one week in mid-February
- Easter holidays: two weeks either side of Easter Sunday
- Summer half term: one week end of May/early June.
British Summer Time:
British Summer Time (BST) starts on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October, at 1.00 am Greenwich Mean Time (GMT):
- in spring the clocks go forward, losing an hour – at 1.00 am GMT the UK moves to 2.00 am BST
- in autumn the clocks go back, giving an extra hour – at 2.00 am BST the UK moves to 1.00 am GMT
In 2013 clocks will go forward on the 31st March and back on the 27th October &
In 2014 clocks will go forward on the 30th March and back on the 26th October