When is VE Day 2022? The meaning behind the day and why we observe it

·2-min read
VE Day commemorates the end of fighting in Europe during WWII.  (Getty Images)
VE Day commemorates the end of fighting in Europe during WWII. (Getty Images)

The UK will observe VE Day this weekend, and celebrations are expected to be in full swing in 2022–after major events were cancelled or postponed due to Covid restrictions over the last two years.

The annual event typically sees people gather for street parties and community events to commemorate the people who fought during the Second World War.

But what does VE Day mean and why do we celebrate it in May?

When is VE Day 2022?

VE Day is observed on May 8 every year. This year, May 8 falls on a Sunday.

What does VE Day mean?

VE Day stands for Victory in Europe Day. It marks the day in 1945 when Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that fighting Nazi Germany in Europe had come to an end.

However, it was not the official end of World War II, as many European soldiers still had to fight in Japan.

The end of the war came on August 15, after the U.S. bombed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a week earlier.

This date, and September 2 (when Japan signed a document to officially surrender), are both known as VJ Day (Victory in Japan Day).

How was VE Day celebrated?

On May 8, 1945, people took to the streets to celebrate with their friends, family and neighbours.

In London, people dressed in red, white, and blue, and gathered outside Buckingham Palace, where the royal family greeted the crowds from the balcony.

However, it was also a sad day for many people–it was a time to remember the people who had died in the war, and to think about the people who had to keep fighting elsewhere.

How is VE celebrated today?

VE Day is still celebrated today with parades and street parties.

In 2020, to mark the 75th anniversary, a bank holiday was held instead of May Day. Three days’ worth of community events were planned but most had to be cancelled or postponed due to Covid restrictions.

Local events will take place across the UK to commemorate VE Day this year.

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