Easter, and the surrounding bank holidays, fall on a different date every year. Brits will have to wait over three months for sanctioned bank holidays this year, so here’s when you’ll next enjoy some prolonged time off
It’s a long old haul, the gap between January and Easter bank holidays.
As the January blues kick in, it may have you feeling as though the next break you are entitled to is rather far away.
Each year, March or April bank holidays are centred around the traditional Christian holiday of Easter. The long weekend sees families across the UK get together to share chocolate, Sunday roasts, as well as opportunistic trips to the beach and rainy spring barbecues.
It is the first real break as the UK begins to warm up from the cold depths of the dark winter months, and also the first chance since Christmas to share time with loved ones at the same time as everyone else.
So, when is Easter and what are this year’s bank holiday dates for the occasion?
When is Easter falling in 2022?
There are no bank holidays in the UK falling between January and Easter, except for in Northern Ireland where Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on March 17.
In 2022, Easter will fall on Sunday, April 17, which means that the surrounding bank holidays are on Good Friday, April 15, and Easter Monday, April 18.
Easter Monday is not observed as a public holiday in Scotland, but they have an extra day in January to compensate, as well as Saint Andrew’s Day on November 30.
Days off then come thick and fast as the Early May bank holiday falls on May 2, followed by the inappropriately named Spring Bank holiday on June 2 and an additional one-off bank holiday on June 3, for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Why do Easter dates change?
Easter can be on any day between March 22 and April 25. This is because it relies on the moon’s cycle and the spring equinox.
Equinoxes occur twice a year and are the point when the north and south hemispheres experience roughly the same amount of day and night as each other. The first of these happens in spring.
Easter comes on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs, following the spring equinox.
The Gregorian calendar, that we use today, was not in use at the time of Jesus’ supposed crucifixion. Easter marks Jesus rising from the dead, three days after his crucifixion in the Christian tradition.
So, as there is no exact date we know of, the religion uses this method instead.