When is VE Day 2021? What is Victory in Europe Day - and what celebrations will take place this year

Huge celebrations and street parties took place across the country on VE Day in 1945

VE Day is marked every year, but what is Victory in Europe Day, what date does it take place and what will celebrations be like this year?

Here’s what you need to know.

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What is VE Day?

VE Day, which is also known as 'Victory in Europe Day', marks the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe came to an end (Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

VE Day, which is also known as 'Victory in Europe Day', marks the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe came to an end.

On 8 May 1945, the then Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, announced on the radio at 3pm that the war in Europe had ended, after Germany had surrendered the day before.

However, although VE Day marked victory for Europe over Germany, it did not mark the end of the second world war.

Winston Churchill said in his announcement on 8 May 1945: "We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead."

Churchill also made an appearance on the balcony of the Ministry of Health Building in Whitehall, where he delivered a speech (Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Soldiers, sailors and pilots continued to be sent to the east to fight against the Japanese, who had not yet surrendered. This then came on 14 August 1945, after atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima on 6 August and Nagasaki on 9 August.

VJ Day is marked on 15 August, as on the same date in 1945 the allies had officially defeated Japan and the second world war was finally over.

When is VE celebrated?

VE Day is marked every year on 8 May.

How was it celebrated in 1945?

Huge celebrations and street parties took place across the country when the end of the war in Europe was announced.

Large crowds of people dressed in red, white and blue - the colours of the Union Jack - gathered outside Buckingham Palace, and people cheered as King George VI and his family, including Princess Elizabeth - now Queen Elizabeth - and Princess Margaret, came out onto the balcony.

The two princesses were allowed to leave the palace and celebrate with crowds outside, although they had to do it secretly.

Churchill also made an appearance on the balcony of the Ministry of Health Building in Whitehall, where he delivered a speech.

Many people also attended church services, with London's St Paul's Cathedral holding 10 services which were attended by thousands of people.

How will it be celebrated this year?

Similarly to last year’s 75th anniversary, VE Day will not be able to be celebrated with large street parties and crowds this year due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

However, the Royal British Legion Industries are asking people to place a 'Tommy' figure - which is a silhouette of a First World War soldier - in their window in order to mark the occasion and pay their respects to those that gave their lives.