2020 May Bank Holiday moved for VE Day anniversary

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Scotland will follow England and Wales in moving next year’s early May Bank Holiday to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The early May Bank Holiday in 2020 will therefore move from Monday, May 4 to Friday, May 8.

Bank holidays are a devolved issue in Scotland. A spokesman for the Scottish Government told Bagpipe.News: “Following very late notice from the UK Government about its plan to change the date of the early May bank holiday in 2020, I can confirm that the Scottish Government will similarly change the date in order to allow the people of Scotland and further afield to remember and pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the Second World War.”

This is only the second time that the early May Bank Holiday has been moved. The first was in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day.

The move will potentially allow more pipers to take part in the 2020 ‘Battle’s Over’ tribute.

Robert Proctor intends to pipe at the top of Scafell Pike on the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Robert Proctor intends to pipe at the top of Scafell Pike on the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The occasion will remember the contribution of British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces personnel; those who contributed to the war effort and safeguarded the Home Front. As well as marking the Allies’ victory in 1945, the bank holiday will serve as an opportunity to pay tribute to those who have served and continue to serve in the UK Armed Forces and their families.

There are commemorative events planned for all over the United Kingdom including pipers playing at the top of the four highest peaks in the UK: Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, Mount Snowdon in Wales, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland. A spokesman for ‘Battle’s Over’, which last year saw almost 3,500 pipers take part to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, said other piping events to mark the VE Day anniversary are planned.

VE Day was first celebrated on May 8, 1945 when Allied Forces formally accepted Germany’s surrender.