Bank Holiday Mondays vs. Bank Holiday Fridays – the debate starts here… for a bit.
Here in Britain, the scheduling of public holidays is much different to elsewhere in the World.
If you have a pocket diary (and too much time on your hands) you’re probably well aware of this, if you look at the table near the front of the book. Around the world, the taking of public holidays appears to be a random thing – and more frequent, ho-hum…
In the UK, with the exception of xmas & easter weekend, we seem to have our public holidays welded onto Mondays – there’s one coming up as I write oddly enough.
Why is this?
Is this a good thing?
And is there a case to be made for switching our public holidays to Fridays?
Apart from those four holidays that have their roots in Christendom, our other holidays are referred to as “Bank” Holidays & thereby hangs a tale.
According to the good folks at Wikipedia, back in Victorian times the Bank of England made allowance for as many as thirty-three days a year when the banks under their wing could close. No specifics have been given, so perhaps these were local holidays, back in the days before rural England was mashed into urban England – you know, like in the Olympics.
An 1871 parliamentary act fractionally reduced those 33 days down to 4. Yes, four! You hate banks. You hate governments. You know why…
The days recognised were Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the 1st Monday in the month of August & Boxing Day. Xmas Day & Good Friday were a gimme, nice of them. The status quo on these days remain for about a century until the 1970s. The first Monday in May was marked, Whit Monday was phased out, the last Monday in May permanently being marked instead. The August holiday was shifted back to the last Monday. Oh, and it was decided that New Years Day would be another work free day. Probably for the best…
But you see, being generated by bank interests, Monday was felt to be best for business. We’re closed Saturdays & Sundays, Mondays… there you go. We have your money, live with it, Bah-ha-ha.
So, you get your long weekend. But at what cost?
Well, the Friday before the weekend is unbearable, you can barely put pen to paper. You worry about the weather, the traffic. And then the Monday comes & you can’t really enjoy the day. Because the voices in your head are telling you that you’ve got to go back to work tomorrow. And it’ll be Tuesday, and they’re worse than Mondays, am I right?
None of that would happen if we embraced the Bank Holiday Friday!
For starters, there wouldn’t be that unworkable day beforehand. And that “back to work tomorrow” day would be Sunday & hey, we’re used to that. And if rains on the Friday – hey maybe it’ll pick up for the next two days.
So there’s my proposal – like it or lump it. What say you?
Now to work on my plan to re-gain those 30 odd holidays those evil Victorian philanderers stole from me…