The May bank holiday weekend is almost here, and many of us are looking forward to having another extended break from work.
May Day, which this year takes place on Monday 2 May, is traditionally the fourth bank holiday in the UK public holiday calendar, after New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday.
The celebration of May Day, which dates back to ancient times, means UK workers - including Royal Mail and Post Office workers - are often given the day off work and can enjoy a three-day weekend.
This year, the May bank holiday weekend falls between Saturday 30 April and Monday 2 May.
So, what does this mean if you are expecting delivery of a letter or parcel, or need to send an item yourself?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Does Royal Mail deliver on bank holidays?
Royal Mail delivers and collects mail on most days of the year, including Saturdays.
Workers do not usually deliver or collect on bank holidays and public holidays, but there are some exceptions throughout the year.
For example, while there were no deliveries or collections on Good Friday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, people in Scotland experienced a normal service.
Will Royal Mail deliver on May Day 2022?
On May Day, Monday 2 May, there are no collections or deliveries in any part of the UK.
Normal posting and deliveries will be carried out from the next day, Tuesday 3 May, but there may be a slight delay in service as postal workers deal with demand.
You can find out more about post deliveries in your area on public holidays by visiting the official Royal Mail website.
Will post offices be open on May Day?
The Post Office has advised on its official Twitter page that store opening hours may be affected this May bank holiday.
Some post offices, including those operating from inside other stores, could be closed or open for a reduced number of hours, while others could be open as normal.
People are advised to check the opening and closing times of their local branch before making a visit. You can use the Post Office branch finder to do this.
What other shops and services are affected by the bank holiday?
During bank holidays in the UK, stores are often shut or operating during reduced hours and with reduced staff.
This means the services they would usually provide are either unavailable or limited.
Some supermarkets are reducing their opening hours on May Day, and some hardware stores are changing their opening hours too.
If you receive a benefit payment you can also expect that to be affected by the May bank holiday.
Why do we celebrate May Day?
May Day has been celebrated for thousands of years.
The celebration of May Day dates back to ancient times, when Romans celebrated the festival of Flora, the goddess of flowers and spring.
In Britain, people celebrated the festival of Beltane on 1 May to mark the halfway point between spring and summer.
In modern times, people use the day to celebrate the approaching summer season.