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Easter Monday in the United Kingdom

Easter Monday occurs after Easter Sunday, which commemorates Jesus Christ's resurrection, according to Christian belief. It is a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but not Scotland.

Is Easter Monday a Public Holiday?

Easter Monday is a public holiday in some areas (see list below), where it is a day off and schools and most businesses are closed. In other areas, Easter Monday is a normal working day.

Easter composition

Image of Jesus and his mother Mary next to Easter eggs.

©iStockphoto.com/ vaskoni

What Do People Do?

For many people, Easter Monday is the last day in a four day weekend. If people have been on a short vacation or have visited family or friends, who live some distance away, they often travel back on this day. For other people, it is just a welcome day off to enjoy the spring weather or work on their garden or home improvements. In some places, there are egg rolling competitions, Easter bonnet parades, displays of traditional Morris dancing fairs or special sports matches. In Biddenden, Kent, special cakes are distributed in memory of conjoined twins born in 1100, who lived to the age of 34.

In Leicestershire, the villages of Hallaton and Medbourne hold a bottle kicking match. It has been held at least since the early eighteenth century, but its roots may be in pagan times. The event starts with the three bottles and a hare pie, which are actually wooden barrels, a parade through the two villages. Two of the barrels are filled with beer. The third is actually solid wood. The actual game consists of the two teams taking turns to get the three barrels across two streams a mile apart, by any means possible. The game is quite rough and participants can leave the game for refreshments at any time. The winning village gets to take the filled barrels to the local pub.

Public Life

 

Easter Monday is a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not Scotland. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, many businesses and organizations are closed. Stores are often open to welcome shoppers, but public transport systems may run to a different timetable. There may be some congestion on train services and roads as people return from trips made during their four-day weekend. In Scotland, Easter Monday is a normal Monday.

Background and symbols

The tradition of having a holiday on the Monday after Easter stems from the medieval festival of Hocktide. This was a two day festival on the Monday and Tuesday after Easter, originating in the eleventh century. Some stories say that on the Monday the men of a town tied up the women and demanded a kiss from them before they were freed. Others say that a man had to carry a women for a certain distance or lift her up a given number of times in return for a kiss. Now Hocktide is only celebrated in the town of Hungerford in Berkshire and the main events are on the Tuesday after Easter. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

About Easter Monday in other countries

Read more about Easter Monday.

Easter Monday Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010MonApr 5Easter MondayObservanceScotland
2010MonApr 5Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2011MonApr 25Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2011MonApr 25Easter MondayObservanceScotland
2012MonApr 9Easter MondayObservanceScotland
2012MonApr 9Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2013MonApr 1Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2013MonApr 1Easter MondayObservanceScotland
2014MonApr 21Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2014MonApr 21Easter MondayObservanceScotland
2015MonApr 6Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2015MonApr 6Easter MondayObservanceScotland
2016MonMar 28Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2016MonMar 28Easter MondayObservanceScotland
2017MonApr 17Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2017MonApr 17Easter MondayObservanceScotland
2018MonApr 2Easter MondayObservanceScotland
2018MonApr 2Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2019MonApr 22Easter MondayObservanceScotland
2019MonApr 22Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2020MonApr 13Easter MondayCommon local holidayENG, NIR, WAL
2020MonApr 13Easter MondayObservanceScotland

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