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Public Holidays

Public holidays in the Netherlands

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

Typical Dutch holidays are also on the calendar, on which there is usually a lot of celebrating. In terms of numbers, there are very few holidays in the Netherlands that are enshrined in law. And even on these days, depending on the region, the shops are sometimes still open.


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Non-floating 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 name20232024202520262027
Mardi GrasVastenavondFeb. 21stFeb. 13thMarch 4thFeb. 17thFeb. 9th
Ash WednesdayAs woensdagFeb. 22ndFeb. 14thMarch 5thFeb. 18thFeb. 10th
Good FridayGoede VrijdagApril 7thMarch 29thApril 18thApril 3rdMarch 26th
Easter SundayEerste PaasdagApril 9thMarch 31stApril 20thApril 5thMarch 28th
Easter MondayTweede PaasdagApril 10thApril 1stApril 21stApril 6thMarch 29th
Mother's DayMoederdagMay 14thMay 12thMay 11thMay 10thMay 9th
Ascension of ChristHemelvaartsdagMay 18thMay 9thMay 29thMay 14thMay 6th
Pentecost SundayEerste PinksterdagMay 28thMay 19thJune 8thMay 24thMay 16th
Pentecost MondayTweede PinksterdagMay 29thMay 20thJune 9thMay 25thMay 17th
Father's DayVaderdagJune 18thJune 16thJune 15thJune 21stJune 20th
Prince's DayPrinsjesdagSept. 19thSept. 17thSept. 16thSept. 15thSept. 21st

Royal festivities

Public Holidays Probably the most important festival for the Dutch is King's Day on April 27. To ensure that it remains a day off, the holiday is brought forward to April 26 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. However, since 2019, the royal family no longer lives in The Hague, but 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 drives to the Knights' Hall in The Hague with their golden carriage and richly decorated entourage. 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

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

On May 4, 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, it was St. Nicholas of Myra in the fourth century 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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