Public holidays
in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has a number of public holidays such as Easter and King's Day. Except during official days off, the Dutch celebrate their holidays at various times of the year. Read all about the public holidays and holiday periods in the Netherlands here.

The Dutch have many official and traditional holidays, which they like to celebrate big. On January 1, the new year is ushered in with a fresh dip in ice-cold water during the traditional 'New Year's Dive' on the beach of Scheveningen.

Carnival is celebrated in many provinces in February (such as Limburg and North Brabant). The traditional costumes and parades provide lots of party fun.

The Dutch have a long weekend off at Easter. The day before Easter, "Good Friday", is a public holiday, but not everyone has free time. During Easter the search for Easter eggs (mostly chocolate eggs); a popular tradition in the Netherlands.

In 2013 Willem Alexander succeeded his mother Princess Beatrix. So the Netherlands now has a king. The largest party in the Netherlands is now called King's Day and is now celebrated on April 27, the birthday of King Willem-Alexander!

Commemoration of the Dead is May 4, with special ceremonies held throughout the country to commemorate the civilians and military personnel who have fallen victim to wars and military peacekeeping missions.

Liberation Day is celebrated on 5 May with concerts and festivals, such as the Liberation Concert in Amsterdam and Liberation Pop in Haarlem. Liberation Day is, just like "Good Friday", a national holiday, but it also applies that not everyone is free. It is common for a day off to be given every 5 years, but this is not mandatory. There are annual festivities on May 5.

The feast of Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas is celebrated on December 5. In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas is considerably more important than the "Santa Claus".

As soon as Sinterklaas has "disappeared" from the Netherlands, they set up the Christmas tree and everything is devoted to Christmas. There are several Christmas markets such as the famous Dickens Festival in Deventer, near Giethoorn, and the largest Christmas market can be found in Dordrecht.  In the Netherlands, people celebrate Christmas for 2 days; Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Christmas is usually celebrated with family and friends. Almost every household has a decorated Christmas tree at Christmas.

In the Netherlands, the year ends with New Year's Eve. The oliebollen are placed on the table and fireworks are set off at midnight.

 

Check all our public holidays on this website:
https://www.iamexpat.nl/expat-info/dutch-holidays

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