There are ten public holidays in the Netherlands of which two are Dutch national holidays. Most occur in late Spring. Read on for more about them plus other notable special observance days in Holland…
Here are the 10 official public holidays in the Netherlands…
Nieuwjaarsdag (New Year’s Day) [1st January]: New Year’s Day is a public holiday in the Netherlands with banks, government offices and retail stores all closed. Public transport runs on a holiday schedule.
Paasdag 1e/2e (Easter Sunday/Monday) [2019: 21st-22nd April, 2010: 12th-13th April]: Easter Sunday and Monday are both public holidays in the Netherlands. Banks, public offices and private companies are closed on Easter Monday. Public transport runs on a holiday schedule both days.
KONINGSDAG [27th April]: King’s Day is the first national holiday of the year in the Netherlands. It is a celebration of the king’s birthday. If the 27th April falls on a Sunday, King’s Day is observed on the 26th April. Public transport runs on holiday schedule.
BEVRIJDINGSDAG (Liberation Day) [5th May]: Liberation Day is the second national holiday in the Netherlands. It commemorates the day in 1945 when the country was liberated from the German occupation at the end of World War II. Schools, government offices and private companies are all closed. Public transport runs on a holiday schedule.
Hemelvaartsdag (Ascension Day) [2019: 30th May, 2020: 21st May]: Ascension Day is a public holiday in the Netherlands. Schools, government offices and private companies are closed. Public transport runs on a holiday schedule.
Pinksterdag 1e/2e (Pentecost Sunday/Monday) [2019: 9th-10th June, 2020: 31st May-1st June]: Whit Sunday/Whit Monday (also known as Pentecost Sunday/Pentecost Monday) are public holidays in the Netherlands. Schools, government offices and private companies are all closed on the Monday. Public transport runs on an abbreviated holiday schedule both days.
Kerstdag 1e/2e (Christmas and Boxing Day) [25th-26th Dec]: Christmas and the day after (known elsewhere as ‘Boxing Day’) are public holidays in the Netherlands. Government offices, banks and private companies are closed both days. Public transportation runs on a holiday schedule both days.
And other notable days celebrated at the city, regional or national level…
Goed Vrijdag (Good Friday) [2019: 19th April, 2020: 10th April]: Good Friday is not an official public holiday in the Netherlands, so banks, schools and municipal offices are open. However, students and public servants are allowed the day off for religious reasons upon request. Private companies have mixed approaches with some closed (especially those located in the more religious southern provinces), some companies open for a half day and the rest maintaining regular work hours. Public transport runs on a standard schedule.
Dodenherdenking (Remembrance Day) [4th May]: Remembrance Day commemorates Dutch nationals which have died in combat or on peace missions since World War II. It is not an official public holiday but some government offices may be closed. Note: At 20:00 two minutes of silence is observed throughout the country, and is usually signaled by tolling of church bells starting at 19:45. Public transport runs on a regular schedule.
Veteranendag (Veteran’s Day) [2018: 30th June, 2019: 29th June, 2020: 28th June]: Veteran’s Day in the Netherlands commemorates past and current members of the Dutch armed services. It takes place on the last Saturday of June. The Hague hosts the largest Veteran’s Day celebration in the country which includes a parade, military awards, concerts and a flyover of Dutch military planes. Public transport runs on a regular schedule.
Prinsjesdag (Budget Day) [2018: 18th Sept, 2019: 17th Sept, 2020: 16th Sept]: Budget Day takes place on the third Tuesday in September. On this day, a grand procession escorts the Dutch King and Queen from Noordeinde Palace to the Knight’s Hall at the Binnenhof, where the King reads the ‘Speech from the Throne.’ Many schools in The Hague are closed on this day.
Leidse Ontzet (Liberation of Leiden) [3rd Oct]: Relief of Leiden commemorates 3rd October 1572 when the city of Leiden was liberated from a year-long siege by the Spanish army during the Eighty Years War. Thousands died from starvation after the city ran out of food. Most schools and many businesses in Leiden are closed on this day.
Sinterklaas [5th December]: This is the Dutch version of St Nikolaas and is widely celebrated by families with young children on the eve of St Nicholas’ feast day. It is not a public holiday. Public transport runs on a regular schedule.
Oudejaarsdag (New Year’s Eve) [31st December]: New Year’s Eve is not a public holiday in the Netherlands but some government offices and private businesses may have shortened hours. NOTE: All forms of public transportation (trains, buses, trams) in the Netherlands stop running at 20:00. Night train service resumes at 01:00, all others begin the following morning.