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Public Holidays

Public holidays in the Netherlands

Almost half of the Dutch population belongs to Christianity, so it is not surprising that the Dutch calendar is also largely made up of Christian holidays.

Typical Dutch holidays also belong to the calendar year, in which there is usually a lot of celebrating. In terms of numbers, there are very few holidays in the Netherlands, which are also laid down by law. And even on these days, depending on the region, the shops are sometimes even open.


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Non-movable holidays

Non-statutory holidays are written in gray.

DateholidayLocal name
Jan. 1stNew Years DayNieuwjaarsdag
April 27thKing's DayKoningsdag
April 30thQueen's DayKoninginnedag
May 4thRemembrance of the deadNationale Dodenherdenking
May 5thLiberation DayBevrijdingsdag
July 11thFlemish Community DayFeestdag van Vlaanderen
Oct. 2ndGroninger relief (Groningen only)Gronings Ontzet
Nov. 11thSt. Martin's Day (regional only)Sint Maarten
Dec. 5thSanta Claus EveSinterklaasavond
Dec. 6thSanta ClausSinterklaas
Dec. 24thChristmas EveKerstavond
Dec. 25thChristmas DayEerste Kerstdag
Dec. 26thChristmas Day 2Tweede Kerstdag
Dec. 31stNew Year's EveOudejaarsdag



Moving Holidays in the Netherlands

holidayLocal name20222023202420252026
Mardi GrasVastenavondMarch 1stFeb. 21stFeb. 13thMarch 4thFeb. 17th
Ash WednesdayAs woensdagMarch 2ndFeb. 22ndFeb. 14thMarch 5thFeb. 18th
Good FridayGoede VrijdagApril 15thApril 7thMarch 29thApril 18thApril 3rd
Easter SundayEerste PaasdagApril 17thApril 9thMarch 31stApril 20thApril 5th
Easter MondayTweede PaasdagApril 18thApril 10thApril 1stApril 21stApril 6th
Mother's DayMoederdagMay 8thMay 14thMay 12thMay 11thMay 10th
Ascension of ChristHemelvaartsdagMay 26thMay 18thMay 9thMay 29thMay 14th
Pentecost SundayEerste PinksterdagJune 5thMay 28thMay 19thJune 8thMay 24th
Pentecost MondayTweede PinksterdagJune 6thMay 29thMay 20thJune 9thMay 25th
Father's DayVaderdagJune 19thJune 18thJune 16thJune 15thJune 21st
Prince's DayPrinsjesdagSept. 20thSept. 19thSept. 17thSept. 16thSept. 15th

Royal festivities

Public Holidays Probably the most important festival of the Dutch is the King's Day on 27 April. To ensure that it really remains a free holiday, the holiday is simply brought forward to 26 April if necessary, should it fall on a Sunday. Everyone in the country wears orange on that day. The evening before, there is a free pop concert for the population in The Hague. Since 2019 the royal family no longer lives in The Hague, but now in Amsterdam. Perhaps this festival will also move there in the coming years.

The Queen and the Princes also have their own holiday. Neither of them is legally established and therefore no days off from work. On Prince's Day, the third Tuesday in September, the entire royal family with their golden carriage and richly decorated entourage drives to the Knights' Hall in The Hague. There the King reads out the speech from the throne, which is politically significant in that it contains the guidelines for the coming year.

Typically Dutch

Often unknown in other countries, there are several customs that make the Netherlands special. For example, the new year begins on 1 January, but with a jump in the deep end. New Year dives are very popular here.

On 4 May, the day of national mourning, people "remember" - but they do not just mourn. Instead, concerts and festivals take place in several cities. And the first catch of herring is celebrated in Scheveningen in June as Flag Day ("Vlaggetjesdag") with a big street festival.

Sinterklaas and Kerstman

The custom of giving gifts at Christmas is a little different than in many countries. Christmas is also a celebration of the family, but much more important is Santa Claus ("Sinterklaas"), which is celebrated on the evening of December 5th. So the presents are also already distributed at Sinterklaas. In fact, by the way, it was really St. Nicholas of Myra in the 4th century A.D. to whom this custom goes back. It only lost its significance with the Reformation and was replaced over the centuries by the Christ Child or Santa Claus.
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