Public holidays in the Netherlands
Public holidays in the Netherlands information. During most Dutch public holidays, all Dutch are officially free. But, did you know that the Dutch celebrate their summer holidays at various times of the year? In fact, it depends on the region where you live in the Netherlands. Read all about the public holidays and holiday periods in the Netherlands in 2021 here.
New years day
On January 1, the new year is ushered in with a fresh dip in ice-cold water during the traditional 'New Year's Dive'. In fact, this all started with a traditional New Year's dive years ago in Scheveningen. Nowadays it is possible in many more places to ring the New Year close to home. Most Dutch have a day off on the first day of the year.
Carnival in February
Carnival is celebrated in many provinces in February (such as Limburg and North Brabant). The traditional costumes and parades provide lots of party fun.
Dutchies have a long weekend off at Easter. The day before Easter, "Good Friday" is a public holiday. However, not everyone has free time. During Easter the kids search for eggs. in fact, chocolate eggs. therefore, it is a very popular tradition among kids.
In 2013 Dutch King Willem Alexander succeeded his mother Princess Beatrix. So the Netherlands now has a King. The largest party in the Netherlands is on April 27 and called King's Day. Because, it is the birthday of our King Willem-Alexander! It is a Dutch tradition to wear orange clothes that day. The Dutch flags are raised outside and there are also several music events for all ages on this day.
Commemoration of the Dead
On May 4, Commemoration of the Dead is held. There are special ceremonies held throughout the country. It is to commemorate the civilians and military staff who have fallen victim to wars or military peacekeeping missions. In the evening there is a wreath laying on the Dam in Amsterdam. This is broadcasted on the national TV channel. After that, at 8 P.m the land will be stationary for 2 minutes. This commemoration is public.
On May 5, Liberation Day is celebrated with annual concerts and festivals. Such as the Liberation Concert in Amsterdam and Liberation Pop in Haarlem. Therefore, Liberation Day is just like "Good Friday", a national holiday. However, not everyone is free. In fact, it is common for a day off to be given every 5 years.
The feast of Saint Nicholas
The feast of Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas is celebrated on December 5. In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas is considerably more important than the "Santa Claus". Traditionally, this holiday is celebrated in such way that a (white) (male) Sinterklaas with (black) smoked Petes bring all (obedient) children a present. However, a discussion has now arisen in the Netherlands about the appearance of Black Piet. In fact, opponents call this Dutch tradition of Black Piet racist and proponents call it a Dutch tradition.
As soon as Sinterklaas has "disappeared" from the Netherlands, they set up the Christmas tree. In fact, everything is devoted to Christmas then. There are several Christmas markets. For example, the famous Dickens Festival in Deventer, near Giethoorn. Did you know that the largest Christmas market can be found in Dordrecht? The Dutch celebrate Christmas for 2 days. In other words, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Christmas is usually celebrated with family and friends. Almost every household has a decorated Christmas tree at Christmas.
New Year's Eve
In the Netherlands, the year ends with New Year's Eve. The oliebollen are placed on the table. Families, friends and neighbors gather to celebrate the New Year. Most of the ti mes with beautiful resolutions, champagne and fireworks. The fireworks are lit at midnight.
Check all our public holidays on this website: