What is a bank holiday?
Bank holidays are different from other holidays because they are simply days when people who work at the bank are off duty. Originally, bank holidays were granted only to bankers, but today it’s likely that you’ll get the days off too - especially since some non-bank holidays, like Good Friday and Christmas Day, are often called bank holidays anyway. Historically bank holidays were numerous, but they were cut to just four in 1834.
How do bank holidays differ within the UK?
Bank holidays are not the same in each region of the UK. In fact, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all have some differences when it comes to official bank holidays. This makes it especially confusing if you’re looking up bank holidays and find the wrong calendar. For example, in Scotland New Year’s Day is a particularly special holiday, but in the rest of the UK it hasn’t always been as meaningful. Also, in Scotland Easter Monday is not a bank holiday, like it is in the rest of the UK. Today, bank holidays in Scotland are not actually holidays in the way they are in England and Wales. In Scotland, holidays are aligned with other more traditional holidays, and banks take their cues from the regular holiday schedule.
For more interesting information and trivia about UK Bank Holidays go to the Wikipedia page. You can find some interesting facts on how some of the Public Holidays dates come about. This also includes the current UK Bank Holidays 2013 dates featured on the eBankHolidays.co.uk.