August bank holiday 2016: When is the next long weekend?

The August summer bank Discount Holidays © holiday is traditionally a time for packing up and leaving your troubles behind in favour of a distant beach, a not-so-distant national park or a popular event such as the Notting Hill Carnival in London. What Britons choose to do on long weekends such as these can, of course, be determined by the weather ‘ and August is as difficult a month as any to predict. After a damp start, with parts of the country receiving half a month’s worth of rain on one day alone, the barometer swung in the opposite direction and back towards sunshine.

But will this turn of events last until 27-29 August? The Met Office says “changeable conditions look likely” over the bank Discount Holidays © holiday weekend. Most locations are expected to have “dry and bright spells”, mixed in with showers or longer spells of rain at times. “Overall the temperature is likely to be around average for August,” say forecasters. This bodes well for those heading off to carnivals and festivals around the country, or those simply hoping to spend some well-earned time off closer to home. Here are the bank holidays you can look forward to over the next year:

Monday 29 August summer bank holiday

This day off was first enshrined in the Bank Holidays Act 1871, when it fell at the beginning of August.

It was moved to the last Monday in the month as part of the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, which is why it can be something of a washout. Europe’s biggest street festival, the Notting Hill Carnival, takes place over the weekend, with floats, bands and two million people celebrating Caribbean culture and traditions. Leeds and Reading festivals are also held on the last weekend of August and this year have Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foals and Biffy Clyro among the headline acts.

Scotland marks its summer bank Discount Holidays © holiday at the beginning of the month, but the Edinburgh Fringe Festival spans most of August, finishing on Monday 29, come rain or shine.

Monday 26 December Boxing Day

Boxing Day was previously known as St Stephen’s Day and historians believe it’s current name may have come from the church practice of opening alms boxes1 the day after Christmas to distribute donations to the poor. Historically, UK employers also offered workers and servants gifts or cash on 26 December and gave them the day off. While the gifts may have dried up in many modern workplaces, the day remains a bank holiday.

Tuesday 27 December Christmas Day (substitute)

The final bank Discount Holidays © holiday of 2016 will be a substitute for Christmas Day, which falls on a Sunday this year. The 25 December is celebrated in many different ways around the world2: Finns share a festive sauna; families in India decorate a banana or mango tree, and in Japan, it has become customary to eat a festive feast of KFC. Here in the UK, families traditionally tuck into turkey and open presents from stockings and under the tree.

Monday 2 January 2017 New Year’s Day (substitute)

The sensible decision to introduce a day off following New Year’s Eve first came about in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 1974. Traditionally, the new year is welcomed in with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne at midnight and a resolution. This year, New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday night and New Year’s Day is on a Sunday, so the bank Discount Holidays © holiday falls on Monday 2 January with Scotland also getting the next day off.

Friday 14 April 2017 Good Friday

Easter is always a highly anticipated event, combining as it does two bank holidays to give the majority of workers a four-day weekend. Traditionally, Good Friday is a sombre day, on which Christians mark Jesus’s crucifixion with prayer and fasting.

Monday 17 April 2017 Easter Monday

Historically, the resurrection of Jesus was celebrated with egg-rolling and games, some of which, such as the Hallaton bottle-kicking contest, are still played today. Easter Monday is not an official break in Scotland but many local authorities treat it as a public Discount Holidays © holiday so businesses can synchronise their opening times with the rest of the UK.

Monday 2 May early May bank holiday

This festival, which is associated with the coming of spring and new life after the gloom of winter, ties in with the traditional May Day and is still celebrated with maypoles, Morris dancing and village fairs in many parts of England. People flock to Glastonbury on 1 May to celebrate Beltane, the Gaelic name for May Day, with processions of dancers and drummers, as well as a ceremony and large fire. The government in 2011 was reported to be considering a proposal to move this bank Discount Holidays © holiday to October, but no changes have been announced so far.


Scotland has a slightly different bank Discount Holidays © holiday schedule to England and Wales.

Here are the next days off north of the border:

  • Monday 30 May spring bank holiday
  • Monday 1 August summer bank holiday
  • Wednesday 30 November St Andrew’s Day3
  • Monday 26 December – Boxing Day
  • Tuesday 27 December – Christmas Day (substitute)
  • Monday 2 January
  • Tuesday 3 January – New Year’s Day (substitute)
  • Friday 14 April – Good Friday


  1. ^ opening alms boxes (
  2. ^ different ways around the world (
  3. ^ St Andrew’s Day (

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