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
January 1 New Year's Day Nieuwjaarsdag The day before is called "Old Year's Day" and not "New Year's Eve."
March/April Easter Eerste Paasdag en Tweede Paasdag The Dutch have two days of Easter (Easter 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 Celebration of the 1945 capitulation of German forces in World War II. A national holiday once every five years.
40 days after Easter Ascension Day Hemelvaartsdag National holiday. The subsequent Friday is a day off for most people.
7 weeks after Easter Pentecost Pinksteren The Dutch have two days of Pentecost (Whitsunday and the subsequent Monday).
December 5 Saint Nicholas' Eve Pakjesavond, Sinterklaasavond Not a national holiday The Dutch version of Santa Claus, Sinterklaas gives presents to children. While Saint Nicholas's name day is on December 6, in the Netherlands usually only Saint Nicholas' Eve, on December 5, is celebrated.[1]
December 25, December 26 Christmas Kerstmis The Dutch have two days of Christmas: Eerste Kerstdag (Christmas Day) and Tweede Kerstdag (Boxing 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.

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.[2]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  1. Rijksoverheid (Dutch government)
  2. Calendar - Holiday Files