Early May Bank Holiday • London Hostel, Palmers Lodge
The Houses of Parliament looking onto the Thames.

Early May Bank Holiday

Early May Bank Holiday: Enjoy it!

In United-Kingdom, the national holidays are not the same as in other European countries. Indeed, the Early May Bank Holiday is mainly present in the United-Kingdom. It is the first Monday of May then there is no fixed date because the day changes each year. This year, it is the 4th of May which means that the week-end will last three days. So time to have fun and enjoy it!

Indeed, this is not a trivial day because English people celebrate something. This is a real celebration. At the beginning, this party was mainly present in Scotland (since 1871) but has eventually finished to spill in the rest of United-Kingdom from 1878. English celebrated the end of winter and the beginning of summer. Generally, the English dance the Maypole. We can also talk about another kind of dance named Morris dancing. This one is although associated with the beginning of May unlike the Maypole. It is rather dance by the men who are, most of the time, disguised in white with bells and many others accessories.  This dance is accompanied by accordions. Children, and especially girls, dance around a tall pole with hanging ribbons. This is a tradition to create decorations, mainly in school.

Others traditions are practised in this celebration like making garlands of flowers, hang things on houses (as you might do with Christmas decorations), etc. All this is explained by the fact that the English actually want to honour Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. Women will even wet their face at the dawn as it is supposed to make them more beautiful the next year. These traditions come sometimes from fertility rituals of pagan times! This is particularly true for the traditions that pay tribute to Flora. Moreover, during the ages, many people have criticized some of these rituals, judging them unchristian. However, this has not prevented the British to perpetuate these traditions!

So what do you say? Are you interested by this unknown celebration but very popular in the United Kingdom? This is an opportunity for you to discover more of English culture through these celebrations!

If this occurs, do not wait! Join us at one of our Palmers Lodge hostels (Hillspring or Swiss Cottage) and live the experience while having a comfortable place where you rest after spending a busy day! We will be there to greet you and take care of you! Indeed, we offer many services that will make you feel at home.


Groups can enjoy a free breakfast on the terrace.

Our outside terrace

For further information, please browse our website (www.palmerslodges.com) or contact us directly! We await your visit.