Why Monday 2nd May is a bank holiday around the UK, and full list of holiday dates

The UK gets an extra bank holiday in 2022 to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

It hopefully means that after two years of having our bank holidays severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, we get the chance to make the most of our days off.

However, it has meant that the usual date format for bank holidays has changed slightly – however, the early May bank holiday is staying exactly where it always has been.

Is Monday 2nd May a bank holiday?

Monday 2 May is marked as a bank holiday across all four UK nations.

It commemorates the traditional May Day celebration, and is held on the first Monday of the month every year.

There is an added bonus for people observing Ramadan in the UK this year, as this is the date that Eid al-Fitr is expected to fall (dependent on the sighting of the moon on Sunday).

In most years, the long weekend would be followed by the Spring Bank Holiday, which takes place across Britain on the last Monday of May.

However, this day off has been moved to later in the week to sit alongside the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday and create a four-day weekend.

When are the other UK bank holidays in 2022?

Bank holiday dates slightly across the UK. England and Wales always have the same bank holidays, but Scotland and Northern Ireland have some of their own dates.

For example, Scotland’s summer bank holiday falls at the start of August, rather than the end of the month.

All four nations used to mark the same date, following the implementation of the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, introduced by the Liberal Politician Sir John Lubbock.

However, the date for England, Wales and Northern Ireland moved permanently to the end of August in 1971, following a trial period which started in 1965.

Here are the 2022 bank holiday dates for the four UK nations in full:

England and Wales bank holidays 2022

  • Monday 3 January (New Year’s Day substitute)
  • Friday 15 April (Good Friday)
  • Monday 18 April (Easter Monday)
  • Monday 2 May (early May bank holiday)
  • Thursday 2 June (spring bank holiday)
  • Friday 3 June (Platinum Jubilee bank holiday)
  • Monday 29 August (summer bank holiday)
  • Monday 26 December (Boxing Day)
  • Tuesday 27 December (Christmas Day substitute)

Scotland bank holidays 2022

  • Monday 3 January (New Year’s Day substitute)
  • Tuesday 4 January (2 January substitute)
  • Friday 15 April (Good Friday)
  • Monday 2 May (early May bank holiday)
  • Thursday 2 June (spring bank holiday)
  • Friday 3 June (Platinum Jubilee bank holiday)
  • Monday 1 August (summer bank holiday)
  • Wednesday 1 November (St Andrew’s Day)
  • Monday 26 December (Boxing Day)
  • Tuesday 27 December (Christmas Day substitute)

Northern Ireland bank holidays 2022

  • Monday 3 January (New Year’s Day substitute)
  • Thursday 17 March (St Patrick’s Day)
  • Friday 15 April (Good Friday)
  • Monday 18 April (Easter Monday)
  • Monday 2 May (early May bank holiday)
  • Thursday 2 June (spring bank holiday)
  • Friday 3 June (Platinum Jubilee bank holiday)
  • Tuesday 12 July (Battle of the Boyne)
  • Monday 29 August (summer bank holiday)
  • Monday 26 December (Boxing Day)
  • Tuesday 27 December (Christmas Day substitute)

Christmas Day falls on a Sunday in 2022, so its bank holiday will be moved, just as in 2021.

While the Boxing Day bank holiday falls as usual on Monday 26 December, there will be a substitute Christmas day off on Tuesday 27 December, meaning the UK will once more get a four-day festive weekend.

More on Holidays

Why is there an extra bank holiday in 2022?

This year, all four UK nations will get an extra bank holiday in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which will take place on Friday 3 June 2022.

It falls almost four months after Elizabeth II celebrated the 70th anniversary of her accession on 6 February 2022.

However, that also marked 70 years since the death of her father, King George VI, and was therefore not an occasion the monarch wished to celebrate.

The first week of June was therefore chosen for the Platinum Jubilee weekend, just like the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, with the summer month offering a better chance of good weather.

To create the four-day weekend, the late May spring bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2 June, with the additional day off following a day later.