October Bank Holiday in Ireland

When is October Bank Holiday in Ireland?

October Bank Holiday in Ireland is on October 24, 2022. It falls on Monday.

How many days until October Bank Holiday in Ireland?

There are 70 Days left until October Bank Holiday in Ireland.

Is October Bank Holiday a public holiday in Ireland?

October Bank Holiday or known as 'Lá Saoire i Mí Dheireadh Fómhair'' or ''Lá Saoire Oíche Shamhna'' in the Irish language, is a public holiday on the last Monday of October every year in Ireland. The holiday is celebrated primarily to break off the wide gap between the country’s summer and winter season. With its celebration, banking institutions, government offices, schools (students should already be in their week-long holiday break), and post offices are suspended. Most of the businesses would likewise close down for the holiday, however, shops, convenience stores, pubs, tourist attractions, and others remain open for the public.

Origin of Ireland's October Bank Holiday

October Bank Holiday is second of the most recent holidays established in Ireland (May Day being the newest one).

How was the October Bank Holiday in Ireland formed?

When the country joined the European Economic Community (ECC, which is the predecessor of European Union) back in 1973, it was said that Ireland’s public holidays are lesser than the number of holidays required for the workers by the EEC. Thus, the government decided to add another holiday which led to the creation of the October Bank Holiday. Through the ‘Holidays (Employees) Act, 1973’, October Bank Holiday was created, giving the general population another day off from work. Michael O’Leary, the Ministry of Labour at that time, was the one who made the establishment of this holiday possible. The holiday was then first observed on the year 1977. Since then up until present, the Irish people has celebrated October Bank Holiday along with the practices associated with it.

What determined the date for October Bank Holiday in Ireland?

As for the reason why the last Monday in October was chosen as the date of its celebration, there actually wasn’t any special reasons behind it. However, since the schools in Ireland usually have their half-term school break at the end dates of October and the beginning dates of November, the government decided that the date is perfect to become part of the week-long holiday. Another reason was the fact that there weren’t any holidays in between the summer and the winter season in Ireland, thus, having one in October should break the wide gap between these two seasons. With its establishment, October Bank Holiday became the first and the only holiday occurring during the autumn season in Ireland.


October Bank Holiday Traditions in Ireland

Ireland is famous for several things including their food, music, literature, sporting events, and many others. Every October, various events are held in the country, e.g. festivals, musical performances, sporting activities, and Halloween-themed events.

Halloween Holiday

Halloween-themed events are common especially since Halloween falls on or near the October Bank Holiday’s date. Since October Bank Holiday is celebrated on the last Monday of October, it usually falls around the same time when Halloween (called Oíche Shamhna in the Irish language) is observed. This is the reason why October Bank Holiday is also called as Halloween Holiday (Halloween/Samhain is not an official holiday in Ireland). Hence, Halloween-related activities are typical especially if it coincides with the holiday’s date. If October Bank Holiday falls on the 31st of October, Halloween-themed events are primarily the main activities observed during the day. The said activities observed by the Irish during the celebration is pretty much like that in the US. Trick or treat is still the most common among other activities. Dressing up is basically the highlight of the event. It is done not only by the children but adults as well. Witches, ghosts, zombies, skeletons, devils, and other Halloween-related figures are usually the ones seen everywhere in the country during the occasion. Some others would even don cartoon characters during the activity. The day is filled with a lot of fun and exciting events which make a lot of people to surely not miss it.

Popular Destinations on October Bank Holiday in Ireland

With the country’s observance of the October Bank Holiday, various activities are done by the people. Going to the theatres, sporting events (if there’s one exactly during the holiday’s date), art museums, festivals, parties, and areas where musical performances are held, are some of the common things observed by the Irish during the day. For others who prefer to visit the country’s famous attractions to spend the holiday, the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Cliffs of Moher, often used as a filming location for several movies, are some of the best choices.

Going on a trip or vacation

Going for a trip/vacation is typical as well during the holiday. Since the people have longer weekend because of the additional non-working day, many of the Irish people take advantage of the weekends long break to unwind and have fun. Some of them book their vacations around the country while others prefer to take a trip abroad. Prior to the holiday’s celebration, the people should have already made the necessary arrangements for their trip. Thus, airports and local transport services are expected to get crowded before and during the celebration of the holiday.

Dublin Marathon

Considering that many sporting events are also held in October (especially on its last few days), when October Bank Holiday is observed, people (those who are traveling or those who spend the holiday doing outdoor activities) are usually mindful when it comes to road restrictions. Because of these sporting activities, many roads in the country are closed off to give way for these events. Thus, it would be best for one to know the schedules of the country’s public transport services. At present, the observance of the holiday is expected to still have some road disruption since an activity called Dublin Marathon is occurring a day before the October Bank Holiday.

Dates of Observance for October Bank Holiday
Year Date Day Holiday
2022 October 24 Monday October Bank Holiday
2023 October 30 Monday October Bank Holiday
2024 October 28 Monday October Bank Holiday
2025 October 27 Monday October Bank Holiday
2026 October 26 Monday October Bank Holiday
2027 October 25 Monday October Bank Holiday
Upcoming Ireland Holidays
Holiday Date
October Bank Holiday October 24, 2022
Christmas Day December 25, 2022
St. Stephen's Day December 26, 2022