Public holidays in the Netherlands

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The Netherlands has several main holidays. The holidays in the Netherlands are:

Date English name Dutch name Notes
1 January New Year's Day Nieuwjaarsdag
March/April Good Friday Goede Vrijdag
March/April Easter Pasen A two-day holiday (Easter Sunday and the subsequent Monday).
27 April King's Day Koningsdag If 27 April falls on a Sunday, King's day is celebrated on the 26th.
5 May Liberation Day Bevrijdingsdag This is a national holiday, previously only once every five years.
40 days after Easter Ascension Day Hemelvaartsdag The subsequent Friday is a day off for most people.
7 weeks after Easter Pentecost Pinksteren A two-day holiday (Whitsunday and the subsequent Monday).
25 & 26 December Christmas Kerstmis The Dutch have two days of Christmas, both called Christmas Day
  • Good Friday (the Friday before Easter) is not a National Holiday. 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.
  • Saint Nicholas' Eve (the eve of Sinterklaas, also called Pakjesavond) on 5 December is also not a national holiday, however it is widely celebrated. While Saint Nicholas's traditional name day is on 6 December, it is however Saint Nicholas' Eve on 5 December which is really celebrated in the Netherlands.

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.

Further information: carnival in the Netherlands

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.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Public holidays". Retrieved 18 June 2016. 

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