Is Boxing Day a bank holiday and when is Boxing Day 2020?

Boxing Day message on calendar
(Image credit: Getty Images/VStock RF)

Now it's November, you might be wondering about this year's Christmas celebrations and what days they'll take place. So when is Boxing Day this year, and is it a Bank Holiday? We answer your questions below.

Boxing Day 2020 falls on a Saturday this year, so for many that will mean a day off. But does that mean we miss out on an extra bank holiday this year?

Although it might not feel like it, Christmas is right around the corner. A second national lockdown might mean we can't hit the shops to start buying festive things yet, but you can order the top Christmas toys for 2020 and loads of different advent calendars for kids online so you can still plan to celebrate Christmas with your festive traditions as a family.

If you need to take time off work this festive season, we've put together everything you need to know about the bank holidays around Boxing Day 2020 this December. So you can effectively plan your Christmas break with ease.

When is Boxing Day 2020?

This year, Boxing Day is on Saturday December 26th - so it doesn't fall on a week day. It's always celebrated the day after Christmas Day in the UK, and has some interesting origins. There's lots of theories out there, but most historians agree that the origin of Boxing Day derives from the act of ‘giving boxes’ the day after Christmas.

In modern times, Boxing Day celebrations look different across households. For some, it's a great excuse to take advantage of post-Christmas sales and treat themselves to something new. For others, it might be a chance to see family or friends they didn't see on Christmas Day.

Children opening gifts on Boxing Day 2020

Credit: Getty Images

Is Boxing Day a bank holiday?

Yes, Boxing Day is a bank holiday. Most of the UK has eight permanent bank holidays annually, and these are:

  • New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • May Day
  • Spring Bank Holiday
  • Late Summer
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

However, because Boxing Day falls on a weekend this year, we'll actually get an extra Bank Holiday.

This year, Monday 28th December will be our 'substitute bank holiday'. According to the government website, 'if a bank holiday is on a weekend, a ‘substitute’ weekday becomes a bank holiday, normally the following Monday'. So, good news, we get more time off this year in the form of a long weekend!

Lucy Buglass
Digital Writer

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer for What's on TV,, and Woman&Home. After finishing her degree in Film Studies at Oxford Brookes University she moved to London to begin her career. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases.