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Public Holidays
Amsterdam Connect > Public Holidays

Dutch holidays

Listed here are all the holidays in the Netherlands. This doesnt mean that shops are closed on all these days, only the holidays in italic are free for everyone.

New Years Day

1st of January


3rd untill 5th of February 2008

Fools day

1st of April

Good Friday

The friday before Easter
2008: 21st of March
2009: 10th of April

Easter Sunday

23rd of March
12th of April

Easter Monday

2008: 23st of March
2009: 12th of April

Queens Birthday

30th of April

National Remembrance Day

4th of May

Liberation Day

5th of May

Mothers day

Second Sunday of May

Ascension Day

2008: 1st of May
2009: 21st of May

Pentecost (Pinksteren)

2008: 11th of May
2009: 31st of May

Fathers day

Third Sunday in June


Third Tuesday of September

World Animal Day

4 October

Sint Maarten

11 November

Sint Nicolas

5 December

Christmas Day

25 December

Second Christmans Day

26 December

Explenation on the Dutch holidays

Mother's Day
On this day mothers are treated to breakfast in bed, flowers and presents.

Ascension Day
all shops and banks will be closed.
This Christian holiday celebrates Christ's Ascension

all shops and banks will be closed.
A Christian festival commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit

Father's Day
This day of the year fathers are treated to presents.

on this day, the third Tuesday in September, the Queen is driven through The Hague in a gold carriage to deliver the Queen's Speech in the parliament building, detailing the government's proposed legislative program.

World Animal Day
This is the day on which all animals get special attention, 4th of October

Sint Maarten
On this day (mainly in the northern provinces) children go from door to door with Chinese lanterns, singing songs in exchange for some candy or fruit

St. Nicholas
The birthday of St. Nicholas. Families and friends gather for parties and exchange presents and poems. Shops close at 5.00 p.m.
Originally the holy day of Saint Nicholas, is the major Dutch feast for children. In the nights leading up to 5 December, Sint rides over the rooftops on his white horse with his black helpers, Zwarte Pieten, and goes down the chimneys to put candy in the shoes the children put by the fireplace. On 5 December pakjesavond Sint brings gifts to all good children. Special treats connected to this day are ginger nuts, marzipan, chocolate letters and hot chocolate.

25-26 December - Christmas Day and Boxing Day:
All shops are closed.
Most people celebrate Christmas with family, decorating the Christmas tree and sharing sumptuous dinners. Most churches have special Christmas services. In recent years more and more people have adopted the Anglo American tradition of exchanging Christmas presents, making Santa Claus a serious rival to Sinterklaas.

31 December / 1 January - New Year's Eve / Day:
All shops and banks are closed.
The tradition way to spend New Year's Eve is to play games with family or friends, watch special cabaret shows on television and eat oliebollen (made of fried, sweet dough) and appelflappen (apple turnovers). At midnight people go outside to wish everyone a happy new year, light (or watch) fireworks and drink champagne.
On New Year's Day some people traditionally take a dive in the North Sea, to wash away the worries of the past year.

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