A new event starts in «Panic Room» today, and it is dedicated to bank holidays. Let’s try and see what we are actually celebrating.
If you’re new to the game, we’ll have to spoil something: the Puppeteer’s mansion stands in the English countryside, and the game’s developers never forget about the historical and cultural background of the characters. Thematic features show up here and there, but they are particularly noticeable when it comes to events. For example, the bank holidays are a uniquely British custom.
A bank holiday is a national public holiday in the United Kingdom — these days are not considered to be workdays but are not associated with such official holidays as Christmas or Easter, either. There is no exact date for these days — bank holidays usually take place on the first or the last Monday of the month. For example, the nearest bank holiday in England and Wales will take place on May, 27 — the very last Monday of May.
Why are they called bank holidays, anyway?
In 1868 a banker named John Lubbock was elected to the House of Commons. A true Renaissance man, he made his way in both banking and political worlds but also left his mark on entomology and archeology — it was he who introduced the terms «Paleolithic», «Mesolithic» and «Neolithic» and coined the word «prehistoric». Once he got into the Parliament, John Lubbock abandoned his hobbies and set out to improve the working conditions for the English people. In particular, he set the legal restrictions that limited the working day to 10 hours and came up with the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 that added 4 extra holidays to the calendar in addition to the church holidays and Sundays. These days were called bank holidays because all banks were closed on these occasions — and so were all other establishments. Considering that 2 of the proposed holidays prolonged the Christmas and Easter celebrations and 2 others took place in the summer where there previously had been no holidays at all, the English people were so incredibly grateful these new holidays actually became known as «St. Lubbock days».
Nowadays the bank holidays are celebrated in all countries of the British Commonwealth, but their number and dates vary from one country to another. They are a unique example of the holidays without a particular purpose. No other country allows its residents to take a day off “just because”.
Unfortunately, the next official holiday in our country is a long time away, but you can always play Panic Room and enjoy the bank holiday with your favorite characters to receive prizes.