Public holidays in the Netherlands

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The Netherlands has 13 main holidays. The Holidays in the Netherlands are:

Date English name Dutch name Remarks
January 1 New Year's Day Nieuwjaar The day before is called "Old Year's Day" and not "New Year's Eve."
March/April Good Friday Goede Vrijdag It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, or Easter Friday.
March/April Easter Eerste Paasdag en Tweede Paasdag The Dutch celebrate two days of Easter (on Sunday and the subsequent Monday).
April 27 King's Day Koningsdag Celebration of the birthday of king Willem-Alexander. (If April 27 falls on a Sunday, King's day is celebrated on the 26th.)
May 5 Liberation Day Bevrijdingsdag Not a national holiday Celebration of the 1945 capitulation of German forces in World War II.
40 days after Easter Ascension Day Hemelvaartsdag
7 weeks after Easter Pentecost Pinksteren The Dutch celebrate two days of Pentecost (on Sunday and the subsequent Monday).
December 5 Saint Nicholas' Eve Pakjesavond, Sinterklaasavond Not a national holiday A predecessor of Santa Claus, Sinterklaas, gives presents to the children. While Saint Nicholas' name day is on December 6, in the Netherlands usually only Saint Nicholas' Eve is celebrated on December 5.[1]
December 25, December 26 Christmas Kerstmis The Dutch celebrate two days of Christmas: Eerste Kerstdag (the first day of Christmas) and Tweede Kerstdag (Boxing day).

Even though Good Friday is a National Holiday, it is not a mandatory day off for commercial companies. However, most (semi-)governmental organizations, banks, and insurers honour this day with a day off work. If time off is given on this day, it is usually a mandatory day off work, subtracted from workers' holidays, whereas other national holidays do not count towards paid holiday allowance.

After the liberation in 1945, Liberation Day was commemorated every 5 years. In 1990 the day was declared a national holiday, where the liberation is commemorated and celebrated every year. Many employees have a day off work, but this is not required by law.[2]

Time off is not given for Remembrance of the Dead, which is a national holiday, or Saint Nicholas' Eve, which is not a national holiday.

The government also recognizes the period between Christmas and New Year as "equivalent" to holidays for the purpose of filings/payments to or by the government;[clarification needed] if a term ends on such a day, the term is extended.[clarification needed] If either First or Second Christmas Day falls on a weekend (i.e., Saturday or Sunday), there is no additional weekday given in exchange. That is, in years where First Christmas Day is a Saturday, there are no national Christmas holidays at all.

Also in the south of the Netherlands carnival is celebrated. Though not an official holiday, many people in the south take the week off to celebrate.

Recently, there has been some debate over whether or not the Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr (Suikerfeest in Dutch) should be a national holiday. This was met by opposition from political parties such as the PVV and SGP, although many others[who?] had no problems with it. For now, Eid ul-Fitr is not an official national holiday, but it usually justifies a day off for Islamic employees. Those opposed to this proposition say that there are enough national holidays as it is.[3]

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External links[edit]

  1. Rijksoverheid (Dutch government) http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/schoolvakanties/vraag-en-antwoord/welke-feestdagen-kent-nederland-en-wanneer-worden-ze-gevierd.html
  2. Calendar - Holiday Files http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/holidays.html#N