Liberation Day (Netherlands)

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Liberation Day
Utrecht corso B.jpg
Liberation Day parade in 1960 in Utrecht
Official nameBevrijdingsdag
Observed byNetherlands
TypeNational Day
CelebrationsMusic festivals
Date5 May
Related toLiberation of the Netherlands from German occupation during World War II
Music festival on Liberation Day 2008 in Zwolle

Liberation Day (Dutch: Bevrijdingsdag) is a public holiday in the Netherlands celebrated each year on 5 May to mark the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II. It follows the Remembrance of the Dead (Dodenherdenking) on 4 May.

The nation was liberated by Canadian forces, British infantry divisions, the British I Corps, the 1st Polish Armoured Division, American, Belgian, Dutch and Czechoslovak troops. Parts of the country, in particular the south-east, were liberated by the British Second Army which included American and Polish airborne forces (see Operation Market Garden) and French airbornes (see Operation Amherst). On 5 May 1945, at Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen, I Canadian Corps commander Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes and Oberbefehlshaber Niederlande commander-in-chief Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the capitulation of all German forces in the Netherlands. The capitulation document was signed the next day (no typewriter had been available the prior day) in the auditorium of Wageningen University, located next door.

After liberation in 1945, Liberation Day was celebrated every five years. In 1990 the day was declared a national holiday when liberation would be remembered and celebrated every year. Festivals are held in most places in the Netherlands with parades of veterans and musical festivals throughout the whole country.

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