Monday, September 25

Easter Monday is bank holiday even though it’s got little to do with the Bible

Although the Bible itself doesn’t say anything specific about Easter Monday, it is celebrated as a bank holiday in much of the UK – find out where it isn’t, what it means and some of the more famous traditions out there

There's no doubt still a lot of chocolate knocking about this Easter Monday
There’s no doubt still a lot of chocolate knocking about this Easter Monday

The Easter bank holiday is the perfect way to welcome in the spring – four days off to relax with friends and family and, if it’s anything like this year, in glorious sunshine too.

While the reasons for Good Friday and Easter Sunday taking place are well documented, there is often a little more confusion about the meaning and reasoning behind Easter Monday.

Plus, with England, Wales and Northern Ireland enjoying a second day off in four days, the significance of Easter Monday is clearly substantial – but in Scotland, things are done a little differently.

Read on for everything you need to know about the bank holiday, from its origins and how it is acknowledged today, to how things are done in Scotland.

When is Easter Monday?

Easter Monday is thought to be the first full day of Jesus’ 40-day resurrection


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Easter Monday falls on the day directly after Easter Sunday, meaning this year it will take place on April 18.

It has also been known by some different names in the past, including Wet Monday or Smigus Dynagus in Polish, where it is tradition to throw water at each other.

What is Easter Monday?

Easter Monday is significant in Christianity, following Easter Sunday, which is the day Jesus is said to have resurrected after he was crucified on Good Friday.

After his resurrection, Jesus is said to have remained on Earth for 40 days and 40 nights to prove to his believers he truly was alive.

During this 40-day period, the Bible says that Jesus appeared to his followers and believers and spread the word of God.

After the 40 days, it is said he ascended to Heaven, although there is nothing specific in the Bible that talks about Easter Monday, nor does it specifically instruct Christians to celebrate it.

What are Easter Monday traditions?

Bottle kicking has been going on since the 19th century, some say. Seen here: 1964’s game


Leicester Mercury)

In some cultures it is more of a sad day, a solemn remembrance of Jesus’ death, while in others it is more jubilant with Easter eggs rolled to symbolise the stone in front of Jesus’ tomb.

In Germany, people hold Easter egg races in fields, while in the English village of Hallerton in Leicestershire, an activity called bottle kicking takes place which sees three bottles – usually kegs of beer – kicked around by countless numbers of people in a huge scrum.

Two loosely formed teams each try to kick the bottles over one of two streams a mile apart to determine the winner. The only hard and fast rules are no eye-gouging, no weapons and no strangling.

Is Easter Monday a bank holiday for all of the UK?

While Easter Monday is a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, not all of Scotland gives people the day off.

Some councils in the most northern part of the UK do claim it as one, such as Edinburgh, Falkirk and Dundee.

The reason for the difference is that local councils have the power to create local bank holidays, which is different to the rest of the UK.

To find out what your local bank holiday schedule looks like, follow this link to the website.

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