Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

After almost 10 years in this country, I am still struggling to understand the difference between a bank holiday and a public holiday. Everybody has a different interpretation anyway. After asking the question on Twitter (what were we doing before Twitter?), I was told that it is the same thing.

@FrenchYumMummy Now that you are British I’ll let you in on the secret.Bank holiday n public holidays are the same.Don’t tell the furriners
— Tom (@BritagUK) August 14, 2013

See, no difference whatsoever. However, Google seems to disagree. Public holidays are supposed to be religious festivals, like Christmas or Easter, and Bank holidays are, well, the rest. Apparently, the August bank holiday was initially for bank clerks only, hence the term ‘bank’ holiday.

Christmas is a public holiday, and so is Boxing Day.  But shouldn’t Boxing Day be a bank holiday as it is not a religious festival? I don’t get it.
I suspect that some aspects of life over here will always be a mystery to me. That’s the beauty of living in a different country, I suppose. Along with a very British sense of style and a way of conveying messages that sometimes leaves me confused. Very confused.
That said, let’s take it easy for once: Bank holiday or public holiday means that you don’t have to go to work. Who cares about the difference?

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