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Yom HaShoah 2024 in the United Kingdom

On Yom HaShoah, many people in the UK commemorate the murder of about 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. This Jewish observance is not to be confused with the United Nations' Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Cattle wagons were used to transport victims.

©iStockphoto.com/Brittany Carter Courville

Yom HaShoah in the Jewish Calendar

Yom Hashoah is usually observed on the 27th day of Nisan, the first month of the Jewish calendar. If the 27th of Nisan falls on a Friday, the event is moved to Thursday; if it falls on a Sunday, it is moved to Monday. Either way, Yom HaShoah always falls in April or May in the Gregorian calendar.

Is Yom HaShoah a Public Holiday?

Although some Yom HaShoah commemoration events in the UK draw large crowds, the day is not a public holiday in the United Kingdom.

Yom Hashoah Commemoration Events in the UK

In synagogues all across the United Kingdom, special services are held to mark Yom HaShoah and offer prayers for the victims of the Holocaust. These may include the Mourner's Kaddish, a prayer for the departed, as well as the El Maleh Rahamim, a memorial prayer. It is also customary to light memorial candles to mark the day.

Each year, the Forum for Yom HaShoah organizes the National Yom HaShoah Commemoration in London. This large-scale event usually draws thousands of people, both those belonging to the Jewish community and people from all walks of life wishing to show their support.

Yom Hashoah History

Yom Hashoah commemorates the genocide of about 6 million Jews during the Second World War by Germany's Nazi regime. This event, during which about two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population was systematically murdered, is referred to as Holocaust or Shoah.

Yom HaShoah, along with other Holocaust memorial days, such as the UN's Holocaust Remembrance Day, plays an important role in preventing similar events from happening again by disseminating the stories of survivors to a wide audience and keeping the memory of one of the worst genocides in history alive.

Jewish Holidays Last Longer Outside of Israel

In the Jewish diaspora—Jewish communities outside of Israel—an extra day is usually added to religious observances, with the exception of Yom Kippur, which lasts only one day worldwide, and Rosh Hashana, which is celebrated over two days in both Israel and the diaspora.

This custom has its roots in ancient times when the beginning of the months in the Jewish calendar still relied on the sighting of the crescent Moon following a New Moon.

The beginning of a new month was determined by the Sanhedrin, the supreme court of ancient Israel in Jerusalem. Once the date was published, messengers were dispatched to spread the news among Jews living abroad. Since this process took some time, it was decreed that Jews outside of ancient Israel were to observe every holiday for 2 days to make sure that the rules and customs applicable to each holiday were observed on the proper date. This rule is still observed today.

About Yom HaShoah in Other Countries

Read more about Yom HaShoah.

Yom HaShoah Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2018ThuApr 12Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration
2019ThuMay 2Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration
2020TueApr 21Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration
2021ThuApr 8Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration
2022ThuApr 28Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration
2023TueApr 18Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration
2024SunMay 5Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration
2025FriApr 25Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration
2026TueApr 14Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration
2027TueMay 4Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration
2028MonApr 24Yom HaShoahJewish Commemoration

While we diligently research and update our holiday dates, some of the information in the table above may be preliminary. If you find an error, please let us know.