The early May bank holiday in 2020 will move from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day Image: iStock

Street parties and celebrations planned across the 3-day weekend

The early May bank holiday in 2020 will move from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. This will enable people to pay tribute to those who served in one of the most significant events in our country’s history, the Business Secretary, Greg Clark MP has announced.

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.

Commemorative events will take place over the 3-day weekend across the country, including:

  • The Nation’s Toast, where over 20,000 pubs will encourage patrons to raise a glass to the Heroes of World War II
  • Bagpipers playing the traditional Battle’s O’er at the top of the 4 highest peaks in the UK – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, Mount Snowdon in Wales, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland
  • Bells in churches and cathedrals across the country joining forces in a special Ringing Out for Peace
  • Local street parties and celebrations across the 3-day weekend

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

“VE Day marked an historic moment in not only our nation’s, but the world’s history and it is important that we commemorate this great occasion on its 75th anniversary.

“Moving next year’s early May bank holiday to VE Day itself is a right and fitting tribute. It will ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to remember and honour our heroes of the Second World War and reflect on the sacrifices of a generation.”

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

Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, pageant master of VE Day 75, said:

“This amazing event taking place on 8-10 May 2020 provides the perfect opportunity for the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate and commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.

“It will involve local communities, youth and voluntary organisations, faith groups and individuals paying tribute to the millions who sacrificed so much to secure the freedom we all enjoy today.”