There are currently eight permanent bank holidays in England and Wales:

Scheduled dates of bank holidays, Easter and public holidays in England, Wales and Scotland for the next three years.

There are different bank and public holidays in different parts of the UK. There are currently six permanent bank holidays in England and Wales.

Christmas Day and Good Friday are public holidays. St Georges Day is not yet a public holiday but is celebrated all over England. Easter school holiday dates for 2017 and 2018.
Halloween is not a public holiday in the UK but is increasingly a popular event celebrated by families.

UK Bank holidays, Easter Dates England and Wales 2017 and 2018.

England and Wales 2017 2018
New Year's Day 1 January 1 Jan
Good Friday 14 April 30 March
(Easter Sunday) 16 April 1 April
Easter Monday 17 April 2 April
Early May Bank Holiday 1 May 7 May
Spring Bank Holiday 29 May 28 May
August Bank Holiday 28 August 27 Aug
Christmas Day 25 December 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 December 26 Dec

Substitute days are marked with *

Special bank holidays.

There are laws in place that allow the dates of UK bank holidays to be changed, or other holidays to be declared, for example to celebrate special state occasions.

There was a a special bank holiday in 2012 to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The 2012 late May bank holiday was moved to Monday 4 June 2012 and an additional Jubilee bank holiday was held on Tuesday 5 June 2012.

*Substitute days: When the usual date of a bank or public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, a 'substitute day' is given, normally the following Monday. For example in 2009 Boxing Day was on Saturday 26 December, so there was a substitute bank holiday on Monday 28 December. NOTE: If Boxing Day naturally falls on a Monday, the next day (Tuesday) is normally the public holiday associated with Christmas Day, as in the case for 2016.

Scottish Bank Holidays 2017 and 2018. UK Easter Dates.

There are seven permanent bank holidays across the whole of Scotland. Christmas Day and Good Friday are public holidays. There are also other public or local holidays which can be determined by local authorities, based on local tradition. Since 2007, St Andrews Day has also been a permanent bank holiday.

Scotland 2017 2018
New Year's Day 1 January 1 Jan
2nd January 2 January 2 Jan
Good Friday 14 April 30 March
(Easter Sunday) 26 April 1 April
Early May Bank Holiday 1 May 7 May
Spring Bank Holiday 29 May 28 May
Summer Bank Holiday 7 August 6 Aug
St Andrew's Day 30 November 30 Nov
Christmas Day 25 December 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 December 26 Dec

Substitute days are marked with *

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Changing The Date of Easter

Why does Easter move around? Why does Easter fall on a different date from year to year? The answer can be explained quite simply: the calendar dates we use every day are worked out and based on the Earth’s orbit round the sun, whereas Jewish festivals like Passover are worked out using the cycles of the moon. The cycles of the Earth round the sun and the moon round the Earth are not synchronized, so any given calendar date will fall at varying points within the lunar cycle from year to year. The feast of Passover is celebrated on the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.

Spring Equinox

The Spring Equinox occurs on the day when the hours of daylight and darkness are equal in length. Because our calculation of dates is based on solar cycles, that day of equal light and darkness falls on the same date every year, 21st March. The Equinox is a solar event, whereas the full moon is of course a lunar one. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after Passover.

So, Easter Sunday is traditionally celebrated as the Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. On 21st March the moon could be at any point in its 29.5 day cycle. If there is a full moon on Saturday 21st March, then Easter will fall on its earliest possible date, Sunday 22nd March.

Effects of Early and Late Easter

Easter calendar dates.

The latest date for Easter happens when 21st March falls on a Monday at the start of the lunar cycle. In that case a full lunar cycle plus 6 days will intervene before Easter Sunday, which then occurs on 25th April. So Easter falls on a date between the two extremes of 21st March and 25th April. In 2013, Good Friday was on the 29th March and Easter Monday on 1st April.

That means an earlier than average holiday. While a hard winter makes us long for a holiday, the commercial effects of an early date for the Easter break are mostly depressing. Flower sales, sales of garden items in general and travel usually enjoy a boost at Easter time.

It’s the time people think about getting started on their patch or their window box, or heading for some sun. The effect is weaker when Easter falls early than when it is late in April. Common sense says that the earlier the date, the worse the weather is likely to be and so the less conducive to gardening or traveling. As well, consumers may be taken by surprise and have a shorter time to get ready for an early Easter.

The difficulty of accurately comparing monthly or quarterly financial performance from one year to the next because of the shifting nature of Easter is annoying for statisticians and governments. It is even possible for one fiscal year to contain two Easters and another to contain none, leading to yet more practical difficulties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure that these half term school holiday dates are accurate, there are occasions when circumstances beyond our control may result in changes.

Businesses and schools are not necessarily closed on Scottish bank holidays and Scottish banks currently follow the English and Welsh bank holidays for business reasons.

The official public holidays for Ireland and NI are listed here;
Ireland Bank Holidays - ROI and NI

Our sponsored links on each page also list discounts on school holiday ideas and half term events. You can use the search box to look up School Half Term Dates and UK Holidays for 2017 and 2018.

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School Half Term Dates - School Holidays - University Terms