Bank Holidays

Posted by Henry on January 18, 2005

In Reply to: What is this, a bank day? posted by David FG on January 18, 2005

: : Today I was watching an old movie -- After the Thin Man . title/tt0027260/ (One of the follow-ups to a wonderful series beginning with The Thin Man - 1934.) Detective Nick Charles opens an old trunk in a basement and a body rolls out. Nick says something like, "What is this, a bank day?" Later he talks about a man not being able to get money on a certain day because it was a "bank holiday."

: : My questions: what was a "bank day" and why was a body more likely to turn up then? Were people whooping it up and shooting each other on bank days?

: I am slightly puzzled by the connection between 'bank holidays' and bodies, but in the UK (at least) 'Bank Holidays' were those days on which banks were closed (and so were most other places, incidentally) such as Christmas Day, the Monday after Easter, the Monday after Whitsunday, and so on - the days have gradually increased over the years and there are differences within the UK - England and Wales have some different 'bank holidays' from Scotland and the North of Ireland.

: The term, though still widely used in the UK has been officially (I think) replaced by 'Statutory Holiday'.

: Not sure if this helps much.


In the UK, Bank Holidays were introduced by the Government as an artifice to provide more public holidays. Christmas Day and Good Friday were already regarded as public holidays, and are not included in the Bank Holidays. More recently, May Day was added, and there is the prospect of a new one in autumn.