An autumn bank holiday

By | Category: travel, Travel rumblings
two bulldogs laying on a sun lounger

You get grumpy and lacklustre without regular breaks.

Now that he August bank holiday is over, for those living in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, there is no break until Christmas Eve.

This is a long period – 110 days – with no break.

Scotland has 30th November – St Andrew’s Day – as a public holiday and the Republic of Ireland has an October bank holiday on October 9th.  Both break up the long run in to Christmas. France has two holidays in November, All Saints’ Day and Armistice Day as public holidays whilst the USA has Thanksgiving in November as well as Columbus Day and any number of state holidays that some people have off. Germany, on October 3rd, celebrates German Unity and some states also have holidays on All Saint’s Day. All Saints’ Day is also a holiday in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Portugal, Spain and Italy

Like most of the UK, the Netherlands is one of the few countries that has a long holiday-less period leading up to Christmas. Unlike most of the UK, their holiday-less period is even longer than ours.

I contend that 110 days is too long without a holiday break. Surely one of the May bank holidays could be given up or – to be really revolutionary – we could have an additional one. Before businesses moan about extra costs and economists stutter about productivity going down if an extra holiday isinstituted let me remind them that some medical research suggests we work better after a break.

As Belgium and France both celebrate Armistice Day this could be a new holiday, a day when we can remember those that have fallen in wars. If other dates are preferred, then whilst November 1st is All Saints’ Day it was – in pre Christian times – Samhain, which marked the first day of winter. beltane – its alter ego – which celebrated the first day of summer on May 1st is a holiday already celebrated but for a different reason.

Some people in the past have suggested Winston’ Churchill’s birth (November 30th ) would be  a suitable date for a holiday just as others have suggested Trafalgar Day. (October 21st.)

Whatever date might be chosen a holiday between August and December 25th would boost spirits through the long and dank weather that we usually experience in the autumn and early winter.

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