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National holidays and festivities

These are the Dutch national holidays or other festive days that are celebrated. In general this means that schools and offices are closed. Most shops in shopping areas will be opened (adjusted opening hours).

New Year’s Day (Nieuwjaar) 1 January
Easter (Pasen) March/April - the Dutch celebrate two days of Easter (Easter Sunday ‘eerste paasdag’ and Easter Monday ‘tweede paasdag’)
Ascension Day (Hemelvaartsdag) Forty days after Easter, always on Thursday
King’s Day (Koningsdag) 27 April. In the Hague: The Life I live Festival on the evening before Kingsday. A festival throughout the city with a lot of podia and concerts. For free (!)
Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking) 4 May. The Dutch pay their respects to those who have died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the outbreak of World War II, holding two minutes of silence, memorial services and silent marches
Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) 5 May. The Dutch celebrate the liberation from the German occupation (1940-1945). This is an official holiday every five years
Pentecost (Pinksteren) Seven weeks after Easter. The Dutch celebrate two days of Pentecost (on Sunday and the following Monday)
Flag Day (Vlaggetjesdag) June. Flag Day celebrates the arrival of the first herring (Hollandse Nieuwe) in the southern coastal towns of Vlaardingen and Scheveningen with festivities and decorated fishing boats
Sinterklaas 5 December. This is not an official holiday, but parents leave work early to celebrate ‘pakjesavond’ (an evening when presents are exchanged) with their children
Christmas Eve (kerstavond) 24 December
Christmas (Kerstmis) 25 and 26 December