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May bank holiday 2020 to move to a Friday for VE Day

PUBLISHED: 09:22 08 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:22 08 June 2019

Events

Celebrations to mark VE Day , street party on Cardiff Road, Norwich.

Dated 1945

 Photograph : Archant Library

Events Celebrations to mark VE Day , street party on Cardiff Road, Norwich. Dated 1945 Photograph : Archant Library

The early May Day bank holiday will be moved back four days next year to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

VE Day Thanksgiving Parade passes through Norwich via City Hall on Saturday, 12 May 1945.
 City Hall, Norwich  Photo: Archant LibraryVE Day Thanksgiving Parade passes through Norwich via City Hall on Saturday, 12 May 1945. City Hall, Norwich Photo: Archant Library

VE Day - or Victory in Europe Day - is marked on May 8 and commemorates the Allies accepting the surrender of Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

The May Day bank holiday is traditionally held on a Monday but will be put back to the Friday and form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events.

Bruno Peek, pageant master of VE Day 75, who is from Gorleston, said: "This amazing event taking place on May 8 to 10, 2020, provides the perfect opportunity for the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate and commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.

"It will involve local communities, youth and voluntary organisations, faith groups and individuals paying tribute to the millions who sacrificed so much to secure the freedom we all enjoy today."

MORE: Norfolk to remember war heroes as countdown to 75th anniversary of VE day begins



Sir Andrew Gregory, chief executive of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, said it was a "fitting" idea.

He said: "It is our duty to keep the events of the past alive in collective memory, including future generations - this is how we ensure that such a conflict never happens again.

"It is our hope that the nation takes a moment to reflect on the significance of this date, as a milestone that changed the course of history for the whole world."

The announcement follows events across the UK and France to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

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As part of the VE Day commemorations, more than 20,000 pubs will encourage drinkers to toast the heroes of the war while churches will take part in a Ringing Out For Peace.

The bank holiday will move in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not necessarily in Scotland as bank holidays are devolved to Holyrood.

Business secretary Greg Clark said moving the bank holiday was a "right and fitting tribute".

He added: "VE Day marked an historic moment in not only our nation's but the world's history and it is important that we commemorate this great occasion on its 75th anniversary.

"Honouring those who did their duty - whether on the battlefields of Europe or through their efforts and sacrifices here at home."

The May Day bank holiday has only ever been moved once before, when it was shifted from May 1 to May 8 in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day.



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