Spring Bank Holidays

I’ve been caught by surprise by this bank holiday – and what a nice surprise! It has come round so quickly after the Easter long weekend.

A couple of weeks’ ago I had a phone call from one of our consumers asking for us to “give the late May bank holiday its proper name – Whitsun.” As we chatted it made me realise how little many of us (including me) know about the origins of our bank holidays. And so for some research….

The name ‘bank holiday’, quite simply comes from the time when the banks were closed and so no trading could take place. Back in the early 19th century, The Bank of England would observe 33 saints’ days and religious dates as holidays. These were drastically reduced with the official introduction of  the bank holiday in 1871.There were four holidays for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and five for Scotland. Whitsun commemorated one of the three baptismal seasons – baptism candidates would wear ‘white’ on a ‘Sunday’ and would be celebrated the day after Pentecost. Though Whitsun was included in the original bank holiday dates it was later replaced by the spring holiday on the last Monday in May. Further bank holidays were added during the 1970s, with a total of seven for Scotland, eight for England and Wales and ten for Northern Ireland. Let’s hope the 2010s sees the introduction of some more!

It’s asparagus season!
Year Round Dairy CookbookThe season English asparaus is short, so make the most of it and treat your family to this gorgeous seasonal recipe, Asparagus with Poached Eggs from Year Round Dairy Cookbook. And don’t forget the book is on special offer – last chance – at only £2.99. Bargain!

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