When is the next bank holiday? Full list of remaining 2024 dates for your diary

The spring and summer bank holidays are the perfect time to get down to the beach
The spring and summer bank holidays are the perfect time to get down to the beach -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

Millions of Brits are currently enjoying the start of a three-day weekend, with an extra day off to look forward to as the early May bank holiday comes around on Monday, May 6.

This will be the fourth bank holiday this year, following New Year's Day on January 1, Good Friday on March 29, and Easter Monday on April 1. Held on the first Monday of May each year, this holiday was first introduced in England in 1978 to observe two annual events: May Day, an ancient tradition marking the beginning of summer, and International Workers' Day, a celebration of working people and a day when labourers often campaign for decent work and fair pay.

Once the early May bank holiday is over, Brits can look forward to yet another extra day off at the end of the month, followed by three more bank holidays before the year is out. Here's the full list of remaining bank holidays in 2024 to get in your calendar.

Upcoming bank holidays in England and Wales

  • Monday, May 27 - Spring bank holiday

  • Monday, August 26 - Summer bank holiday

  • Wednesday, December 25 - Christmas Day

  • Thursday, December 26 - Boxing Day

In Scotland, the summer bank holiday is held on Monday August 5 instead, and there's also an extra bank holiday in the country for St Andrew's Day on Monday December 2. Northern Ireland have the same bank holidays as England and Wales, with the addition of an extra day for Battle of the Boyne on Friday July 12.

If you're enjoying the early May bank holiday, don't take it for granted - back in 2011, Parliament debated moving this day off to October instead, in order to space out the bank holidays more evenly throughout the year. However, the plans were scrapped, meaning we can continue to look forward to two extra days off this month.

We have a second bank holiday in May because this day off used to be held after Whit Sunday or Pentecost in the Christian calendar. Whit Sunday always falls seven Sundays past Easter Sunday, but since 1971, this bank holiday has always been held on the last Monday of the month.

Up until 1834, there were 33 public holidays in the UK consisting of saint's days and religious festivals, before the number was reduced to just four. Liberal politician and banker Sir John Lubbock authored the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, which made these four public holidays - Christmas Day, May Day, All Saint's Day and Good Friday - official, with bank holidays getting their name from the fact that banks typically closed for business on these days.

Unfortunately, Brits now have among the least amount of public holidays of any nation in the world, with the United Kingdom coming only behind the United States, the Netherlands, Ecuador and Mexico with between eight and 10 bank holidays depending on whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. On the other hand, Nepal is said to the the country with the most, with a whopping 35 public holidays by comparison.