St George’s Day: Why don’t we get a bank holiday?

St George’s Day is celebrated annually on April 23 (Getty Images)
St George’s Day is celebrated annually on April 23 (Getty Images)

St George’s Day, also known as The Feast of George, celebrates the patron saint of England.

It is observed annually on April 23, on the anniversary of his execution.

While people in Northern Ireland get a bank holiday for St Patrick’s Day and people in Scotland also have one for St Andrew’s Day, unfortunately for people living and working in England, St George’s Day is not a bank holiday.

Neither is St David’s Day in Wales.

So why isn’t St George’s Day a bank holiday, despite other UK countries getting bank holidays?

Why isn’t St George’s Day a bank holiday?

Although St George’s Day is celebrated across England, it technically isn’t an official holiday.

Many bank holidays give people a chance to observe major holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, for example.

Others allow people to observe major events, like the Queen’s jubilee and funeral last year, and the upcoming King’s coronation.

However, unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland, England and Wales do not have a bank holiday to celebrate St George’s Day and St David’s Day, respectively.

The monarch, on the advice of the Government, has the power to create a new bank holiday.

Therefore, it’s possible that St George’s Day could become a bank holiday one day, as the official dates are not set in stone.

There hasn’t been any suggestion recently that St George’s Day will become an official holiday.

However, there have been calls to make it a bank holiday in the past.

In 2018, then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that if he were elected, he would introduce four new bank holidays to the whole of the UK, to mark each of the country’s patron saints.

“If we win the next election, St George’s Day will become a national holiday for Britain’s workers,” he said.

“It will be a day where we can all show our pride and celebrate our country’s tradition of fairness, inclusivity and social justice.”

Bank holiday dates for 2024

2024 has eight bank holidays.

  • New Year’s Day – Monday, January 1, 2024

  • Good Friday – Friday, March 29, 2024

  • Easter Monday – Monday, April 1, 2024

  • Early May Bank Holiday – Monday, May 6, 2024

  • Spring Bank Holiday – Monday, May 27, 2024

  • Summer Bank Holiday – Monday, August 26, 2024

  • Christmas Day – Wednesday, December 25, 2024

  • Boxing Day – Thursday, December 26, 2024