Public holidays in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has the second lowest number of public holidays in the world.[1] The holidays in the Netherlands are:

Date English name Dutch name Notes
1 January New Year's Day Nieuwjaarsdag
March or April Easter Pasen The Dutch have a two-day holiday, called Eerste Paasdag on Sunday and Tweede Paasdag on Monday (lit. First Easter Day and Second Easter Day)
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, but not a mandatory paid holiday for everyone.[2] It is custom for many employers to grant a paid holiday every 5 years on this day. Public offices and schools are closed on this day every year, though.
40 days after Easter Ascension Day Hemelvaartsdag The subsequent Friday is a popular day off for many people, though it is not a paid holiday.[3]
7 weeks after Easter Pentecost Pinksteren A two-day holiday (Whitsunday and the subsequent Monday), called Eerste Pinkstersdag and Tweede Pinksterdag (lit. First Pentecost Day and Second Pentecost Day)
25 & 26 December Christmas Kerstmis Like Easter and Pentecost, the Dutch have two days of Christmas, called Eerste Kerstdag and Tweede Kerstdag (lit. First Christmas Day and Second Christmas Day)

Good Friday (Goede Vrijdag in Dutch) is a not an official public holiday, though most schools are closed. Some public offices are closed, but shops and commercial offices like banks are open.

Saint Nicholas' Eve (the eve of Sinterklaas, also called Sinterklaasavond or Pakjesavond) on 5 December is not a national holiday, however it is widely celebrated. While Saint Nicholas's traditional name day is on 6 December, it is Saint Nicholas' Eve the day before which is the focus of celebrations in the Netherlands.

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. Schools schedule their spring holiday at the same time.[4]

There has been some debate over whether the Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr (Suikerfeest in Dutch) should be a national holiday. This was met by opposition from right-wing political parties such as the PVV and SGP. 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. Schools are allowed to give additional days off anyway.[4]

See also


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