Just What Are Bank Holidays Anyway?
Seeing as we’ve just had a bank holiday, and we’re due another later on in the month, we’ve decided to have a little look into the specifics of this supposedly financial institution, which for most people means a nice day off or some extra pay. To really understand bank holidays you have to take a look back to some of the oldest traditions of banking.
Originally the great banks of the world, including the Bank of England, could pretty much pick and choose as many saints’ days as they wanted in order to take time off. It was a time where religion was held in high esteem, and as such there were plenty of days to pick. Up until 1834 the Bank of England observed about 33 saints days. Imagine if we still got them all off today.
However when 1834 arrived the amount dropped considerably to just four, which were officially recognized as official ‘bank holidays’ in 1871 in parliament. These original four were May Day, All Saint’s Day, Good Friday and Christmas Day. Since then the amount of bank holidays has increased depending on which part of the UK you live in.
England and Wales get the least amount of official bank holidays, with eight in total, whilst Scotland and the Republic of Ireland get nine. Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man get ten. Most of this is to do with different religious observances, for example the English do not ‘officially’ celebrate St. Patrick’s day.
The only real thing you have to worry about on a bank holiday weekend is whether your favourite destination is going to be jam packed with other holidaymakers, or if you’re getting your bonus pay. Keep an eye on your outgoing and online transactions too, as you never can really tell what the disruption of banking services will do.