Why is New Year's Day a bank holiday?

BRITS have enjoyed a number of bank holidays recently – and now New Year’s Day has also been added to the list.

But why is January 1 a bank holiday and what other breaks can Brits look forward to in 2021? 

Why is New Year's Day a bank holiday? 

New Year’s Day – which lands on a Friday in 2021 – is normally a bank holiday in the UK. 

This year is no exception and Brits will be able to enjoy a long lie in after the new year arrives. 

Unlike January 1, New Year’s Eve is not a bank holiday but is in fact a normal working day. 

Bank holidays were first introduced by the 1871 Bank Holiday Act and allowed the Bank of England and banks to close on a week day.

The 1871 Bank Holiday Act made New Year's Day a bank holiday in Scotland but England, Wales and Northern Ireland had to wait until the 1971 Act to get the day off.

Like Christmas, New Year’s Eve 2020 will be very different due to the pandemic, with household mixing banned across the majority of the country. 

When is the next bank holiday? 

The next bank holiday will land on Friday, April 2 and will be for Good Friday. 

The following Monday, April 5 will also be a bank holiday for Easter Monday. 

How many bank holidays are there in 2021?

There will be eight bank holidays across 2021. 

Here is a list of the dates so far: 

  • New Year’s Day – January 1 
  • Good Friday – April 2 
  • Easter Monday – April 5 
  • Early May Bank Holiday – May 3
  • Spring Bank Holiday – May 31
  • Summer Bank Holiday – August 30 
  • Christmas Day (substitute day) – December 27 
  • Boxing Day (substitute day) – December 28

Christmas 2021 will see a four-day marathon of festivities.

With next year's Christmas falling on a Saturday and Boxing Day on a Sunday, the following two working days will be bank holidays to give people a proper break from work.

So, the two substitute days off will be Monday 27th December 2021 to fill in for Christmas Day, and Tuesday 28th December 2021 in place of Boxing Day.

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