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?

Subscribe to 40blogSpot – A French Yummy Mummy In London by Email

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • My Bank is always on holiday!

  • I guess my answer is simple- don’t ever bank on what you read on the web…

  • Carolina HeartStrings

    Here we refer to “bankers’ hours” which means in at 9 out by 5. My banker also takes time to play golf. No holiday required.

  • SueraeStein

    As long as “holiday” is in the phrase, it’s all good!

  • SarahHague

    Hurrah for both! Boxing Day is a special case I think, neither one nor the other.

  • Like you, I don’t care what it is!
    Your beautiful new site is almost too much for my poor, creaky, worn out old computer. I think it’s about time I gave it its pension……

  • MuMuGB

    Glad you like my site! That said, you are right, it takes too long to open it. I will never get it just right!

  • MuMuGB

    Right. Are you saying that there are Bank holidays, public holidays and something else? No wonder I never get it right!

  • MuMuGB

    Exactly! That said, with the children, holidays are very, very busy…

  • MuMuGB

    I think that mine does too. And bankers have bank holidays too, right?

  • MuMuGB

    I love googling all sorts of things. That said, you are right: what’s on the web is not always reliable.

  • MuMuGB

    Mine too…