UK Bank Holidays

Including; seasons and other special days during 2018 and 2019

21 DecemberFridayWinter Solstice - The shortest day (Yule)
24 DecemberMondayChristmas Eve
25 DecemberTuesdayChristmas Day - Bank Holiday
26 DecemberWednesdayBoxing Day - Bank Holiday
31 DecemberMondayNew Years Eve - Hogmanay
1 JanuaryTuesdayNew Years Day
2 JanuaryWednesdayBank Holiday in Scotland
25 JanuaryFridayRobert Burns Night - Burns Night
2 FebruarySaturdayImbolc - an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on the second day of February.
14 FebruaryThursdaySaint Valentines Day
1 MarchFridaySt Davids Day. St David is the patron saint of Wales
5 MarchTuesdayShrove Tuesday - Pancake Day
6 MarchWednesdayAsh Wednesday - the first day of Lent
17 MarchSundaySt Patricks Day (Bank holiday Northern Ireland). The Feast of Saint Patrick.
20 MarchWednesdayNorthward, Vernal or March equinox - First day of Spring (12 Hours of daylight) Ostara
31 MarchSundayStart of British Summer Time (BST), (clocks go forward)
31 MarchSundayMothers day - Mothering Sunday (the fourth Sunday of Lent)
14 AprilSundayPalm Sunday - often a procession day
18 AprilThursdayMaundy Thursday. Remembering the last supper
19 AprilFridayGood Friday - Bank Holiday
21 AprilSundayEaster Sunday
21 AprilSundayQueen Elizabeths Birthday
22 AprilMondayEaster Monday - Bank Holiday (except in Scotland)
23 AprilTuesdaySt Georges Day, this is the accepted day of his death in 303 AD. According to legend, St George slayed a fire breathing dragon to rescue a maiden.
1 MayWednesdayCelebrating the 1st day in May is an English tradition. May pole, Morris dancing and May Queen. Beltane
6 MayMondayEarly May Bank Holiday - May Day
27 MayMondaySpring Bank Holiday
16 JuneSundayFathers Day - the third Sunday in June
21 JuneFridaySummer Solstice - The longest day (Midsummer)
24 JuneMondayMidsummers day - St John the Baptist day or just St Johns Day
12 JulyFridayBattle of the Boyne (Orangemens Day - Bank Holiday in Northern Ireland)
14 JulySundayEmmeline Pankhurst Day - The British political activist that helped women get the vote. She was named one of the most important people of the 20th Century
15 JulyMondaySt. Swithins Day. According to legend, the weather on St. Swithin's Day will be the same for the next forty days.
1 AugustThursdayLughnasadh - The Gaelic festival for the beginning of the harvest.
26 AugustMondayAugust Bank Holiday
23 SeptemberMondayAutumnal Equinox - First day of Autumn (12 hours of daylight) Mabon
21 OctoberMondayTrafalgar Day. Celebrating the victory in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar
27 OctoberSundayEnd of British Summer Time (BST), (clocks go back)
31 OctoberThursdayHalloween - All Hallows Evening
1 NovemberFridayAll Saints Day
1 NovemberFridaySamhain
5 NovemberTuesdayBonfire night - Guy Fawkes Night
30 NovemberSaturdaySt Andrews Day (Bank Holiday Scotland). St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.

If a bank holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, a substitute weekday will become the bank holiday. This is usually the following Monday.


21 December

Winter Solstice - The shortest day (Yule)

Born this day in 1864; A furniture designer and architect, Ernest Grimson is known as one of the most influential designers of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Born in Leicestershire

The sale of arts and crafts at fairs and show has seasonal variations. If you are able to add a theme to your table that pertains to the appropriate time of year, you may see an increase in sales. Specific products will do better than generic products but just having an appropriate sign could work, e.g. Ideal Easter Gifts, Christmas Presents, Great for Fathers Day etc.

The tables below shows a collection of important dates in the UK calendar. If you are only interested in one type of event use the filter. Click on the link below each month to view the craft events calendar. If you would like to be notified of craft events in your region; the week before they take pace, sign up for the craft weekly newsletter.

A bank holiday is in affect a public holiday. We use the word bank because they first appeared in the 19th century with the introduction of the Bank Holidays Act of 1871. In the act, there were four dates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and five in Scotland, they left out Christmas Day and Good Friday (and Sunday) as they were already traditional days off for Christian worship.

We have not seen any new bank holidays since the 1970s. A few were changed when the old act was replaced by the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, then there was a change in 1973, 1974 and 1978.

Any new Bank holidays since 1971 would be appointed by Royal Proclamation. Except for in Northern Ireland where it is the role of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

There are four national days in the UK. The dates stay the same each year and they are an opportunity to celebrate the patron saints of each nation - St David (Wales), St Patrick (Ireland), St George (England) and St Andrew (Scotland). Unforutately, these are not bank holidays in either England or Wales - which is perhaps why they are not as well celebrated.

Twice a year, (the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October) the clocks change. They spring forward an hour in March and go back an hour in October. This is sometimes known as Daylight Saving Time, which gives a better description of why we do it. It was introduced back in the early 20th century thanks to William Willet, who believed that the summer mornings were being lost whilst people slept.

The starting date for each season changes by a day or so each year. An equinox (March and September) is when the day and the night are of approximately the same length. A solstice is when the sun reaches its highest or lowest points in the sky at noon, which results in the longest and shortest days.

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day and the start of winter but it is a day to celebrate (20-23 December), as from then onwards the days will start to get lighter for longer. You may want to sit outside (cold) burning your Yule log, eating, telling tales, singing and perhaps drinking some mead. Interesting fact that Yuletide in Old Norse could be translated to Yule father, seems familiar.

The wheel of the Year includes eight ceremonial days, Imbolc - time for a spring clean (2 February), Ostara (19-22 March), Beltane (1 May), Midsummer (19-23 June), Lughnasadh (1 Aug), Mabon (21-24 September), Samhain (1 Nov) and Yule (20-23 Dec).

Throughout the year there are lots of days that have a special meaning or significance like mothers day or bonfire night. They have normally come about due to popularity or historical significance.

Midsummer or St John the Baptists day (24 June) is an interesting date because it is set near to the Summer Solstice (the longest day - 19-23 June) and people celebrate Midsummers Eve, the eve of St Johns day.