When is VE Day in 2021 and will we get a bank holiday this year?

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  • VE day 2021 will differ from last year’s VE day celebrations in lockdown.

    The 75th anniversary of VE Day took place on a gloriously sunny bank holiday in 2020, with the country coming together (albeit in a social-distanced way) to commemorate the occasion.

    Homemade VE day bunting was proudly hung up across streets and parties with special VE day baked treats took over neighbourhoods in a nod to the landmark day in 1945.

    This year’s VE day 2021 is now just around the corner with some-smaller scale celebrations planned for the 76th anniversary. So it’s time to get those special window displays and homemade afternoon teas planned.

    When is VE day in 2021?

    This year, VE day falls on Saturday 8 May, 2021. 

    VE Day in 2021 will be the 76th anniversary of the day Europe announced victory over German forces in the Second World War. This is why it is called VE Day (which stands for Victory in Europe).

    On that historic day on 8 May 1945, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared a national holiday for the public. Many families took to the streets of London to celebrate the end of the war and rationing. Street parties were also held up and down the country.

    VE day in 1945

    Ecstatic crowds celebrating VE Day in London’s Piccadilly, at the end of World War II, 8th May 1945. (Credit: Getty)

    Will we get a bank holiday for VE Day this year?

    Unlike last year, there will be no bank holiday for VE day in 2021. But as May 8 is a Saturday, most people will have the day off work anyway.

    In 2020, VE day became a one-off bank holiday to commemorate the extra-special 75th anniversary. This saw the early May Day Bank Holiday moved to Friday 8 May 2020 to mark this occasion.

    A number of celebrations took place for the big anniversary, including a socially-distanced Buckingham Palace concert and a television address from the Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also made video calls to VE day veterans and a two-minute silence occurred at 11am to pay tribute to those who gave their lives during WWII.

    A street party for VE day

    Credit: Getty

    Closer to home, neighbourhoods up and down the country celebrated with socially-distanced street parties which featured British bunting and lots of union jack cookies.

    How will VE Day be celebrated this year?

    Charities like The Royal British Legion have shared how people can celebrate VE day in 2021.

    They have asked people to place their ‘Tommy’ soldier in windows to help “celebrate a remarkable generation”.

    The Royal British Legion is also asking the public to host a Tommy Tea in the month of May. This is an afternoon tea with family, neighbours and if possible, a veteran to commemorate the day and donate to charity.

    Morrisons are selling an Official Tommy Afternoon Tea box that you can buy for the fundraiser – with £1 from each box going to the Royal British Legion.

    Meanwhile the charity Care for Veterans are challenging people to take part in a VE Day virtual 10k race. The registration fee and all sponsorship money raised for the run will go towards the charity.