Public holidays and important dates in the Netherlands 2016
Here is a list of Dutch public holidays (Nationale feestdagen) in 2016, plus other important dates such as school holidays, Mother's and Father's days, and daylight saving.
For those living in the Netherlands, there are important public holidays that are national, while some holidays vary across regions. For example, there are a few regional variations with carnival celebrated in February and March in Catholic areas. For all Dutch citizens, Queen's Day – or rather King's Day since 2014 – is one of the biggest national Dutch holidays.
Dutch public holidays 2016
- New Year's Day (Nieuwjaarsdag): Friday, 1 January 2016
- Good Friday (Goede Vrijdag): Friday, 25 March 2016 [Not an official holiday].
- Easter Sunday/Monday (Pasen): Sunday/Monday, 27/28 March 2016.
- King's Day (Koningsdag): Wednesday, 27 April 2016.
- National Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking): Wednesday, 4 May 2016 [Not an official holiday.]
- Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag): Thursday, 5 May 2016 [Official holiday every five years; next is 2020.]
- Ascension (Hemelvaart): Thursday, 5 May 2016
- Whitsun (Pinksteren): Sunday/Monday, 15/16 May 2016
- Sinterklaas: Monday, 5 December 2016 (Sint arrives in the Netherlands mid-November) [Not an official holiday.]
- Christmas Day (EersteKerstdag): Sunday, 25 December 2016
- Boxing Day (TweedeKerstdag) Monday, 26 December 2016.
Other important dates
- 27 March 2016: Clocks go forward one hour as daylight saving time (DST) starts
- 1 April 2016: April Fool’s Day (Poisson d'Avril)
- 8 May 2016: Mother’s day
- 19 June 2016: Father’s day
- 30 October 2016: Clocks go back one hour (DST ends).
- Sint Maarten: 11 November 2016 – children typically go singing from door to door in exchange for sweets, vaguely reminiscent of Halloween.
You can find a list of school holidays on the government website here:www.rijksoverheid.nl .
Air raid siren (Luchtalarm)
Don’t be alarmed if you hear a siren on the first Monday of every month, at noon. Since 2003, sirens nationwide have been tested once a month. If you hear a siren any other time, however, it could be the Dutch signal for any kind of disaster, from fires to hazardous gasses. You should head indoors, close windows and doors and put on the TV or radio.
You can also visit the government site www.denkvooruit.nl for information on emergency situations (noodsituaties) in the Netherlands, or subscribe to the government mobile alert service (www.nl-alert.nl) to receive a text whenever an emergency arises in your area.
You will find shops typically closed on public holidays, however, they also traditionally close on Sundays and Monday mornings (and sometimes all day Monday) throughout the year. Although larger cities have changed this, you will typically find shops closed in smaller towns. If you ever hear of a Koopzondag, that means shops have been given an assigned Sunday to be open.
Photo credit: garryknight (Queen's day).
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