Public holidays in the Netherlands

Dutch national holidays and other important Dutch holidays 2017

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Here is a list of Dutch national holidays (Nationale feestdagen) in 2017, plus other important Dutch holidays such as school vacation, Mother's and Father's day and daylight saving.

There are important Netherlands national holidays that are observed across the country, while some holidays in the Netherlands vary across regions. For example, there are several regional variations of Dutch carnival celebrated in February and March in Catholic areas. For all Dutch citizens, Queen's Day – or rather King's Day since 2014 – is arguably the biggest of all Netherlands' public holidays.

Public holidays Netherlands 2017

  • New Year's Day (Nieuwjaarsdag): Sunday, 1 January 2017
  • Good Friday (Goede Vrijdag): Friday, 14 April 2017 [Not an official holiday].
  • Easter Sunday/Monday (Pasen): Sunday/Monday, 16/17 April 2017.
  • King's Day (Koningsdag): Thursday, 27 April 2017.
  • National Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking): Thursday, 4 May 2017 [Not an official holiday.]
  • Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag): Friday, 5 May 2017 [Official holiday every five years; next is 2020.]
  • Ascension (Hemelvaart): Thursday, 25 May 2017
  • Whitsun (Pinksteren): Sunday/Monday, 4/5 June 2017
  • Sinterklaas: Tuesday, 5 December 2017 (Sint arrives in the Netherlands mid-November) [Not an official holiday.]
  • Christmas Day (EersteKerstdag): Monday, 25 December 2017
  • Boxing Day (TweedeKerstdag): Tuesday, 26 December 2017.
public holidays Netherlands – Dutch national holidays
King's Day orange madness ('oranjegekte')

Important dates in the Netherlands

  • 26 March 2017: Clocks go forward one hour as daylight saving time (DST) starts
  • 1 April 2017: April Fool’s Day (Poisson d'Avril)
  • 14 May 2017: Mother’s day
  • 18 June 2017: Father’s day
  • 29 October 2017: Clocks go back one hour (DST ends).
  • 11 November 2017: Sint Maarten's Day, when children typically go singing from door to door in exchange for sweets, vaguely reminiscent of Halloween.

Shops closed in the Netherlands

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.

Dutch school holidays

The Netherlands' school districts are divided into three regions. Some school vacation breaks are taken at the same time, others are split into regions to help spread the seasonal flow of vacationers. You can find a list of school holidays in the Netherlands on the government website:

Autumn Break 2016: (Herfstvakantie)

  • North and Middle regions: Saturday 15 October 2016 to Sunday 23 October 2016
  • South region: Saturday 22 October 2016 to Sunday 30 October 2016

Holiday Break 2016–2017: (Kerstvakantie)

  • All regions: Saturday, 24 December 2016 to Sunday, 08 January 2017

Spring Break 2017 (Meivakantie)

  • All regions: Saturday 22 April 2017 to Sunday 30 April 2017

Summer Break 2017 (Zomervakantie)

  • North region: Saturday 22 July 2017 to Sunday 3 September 2017
  • Middle region: Saturday 8 July 2017 to Sunday 20 August 2017
  • South region: Saturday 15 July 2017 to Sunday 27 August 2017

North region (Noord):
Provinces Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland (except Zeewolde), Gelderl and (Hattem only), Utrecht (and former Abcoude), and Noord-Holland.

Middle region (Midden): Flevoland (Zeewolde), Utrecht (except Eemnes and Abcoude), Gelderland areas of Aalten, Apeldoorn, Barneveld, Berkelland, Bronckhorst, Brummen, Buren, Culemborg, Doetinchem, Ede, Elburg, Epe, Ermelo, Geldermalsen, Harderwijk, Heerde, Lingewaal, Lochem, Montferland (except Didam), Neder-Betuwe (except Dodewaard), Neerijnen, Nijkerk, Nunspeet, Oldebroek, Oost-Gelre, Oude IJsselstreek, Putten, Scherpenzeel, Tiel, Voorst, Wageningen, Winterswijk and Zutphen; Zuid-Holland and Noord Brabant (Werkendam and Woudrichem, not Henk and Dussen).

South region (Zuid): Gelderland areas of Arnhem, Beuningen, Doesburg, Druten, Duiven, Groesbeek, Heumen, Neder-Betuwe (Dodewaard), Lingewaard, Maasdriel, Millingen a/d Rijn, Montferland (Didam), Nijmegen, Overbetuwe, Renkum, Rheden, Rozendaal, Rijnwaarden, Ubbergen, Westervoort, West Maas and Waal, Wijchen, Zaltbommel and Zevenaar.

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 for information on emergency situations (noodsituaties) in the Netherlands, or subscribe to the government mobile alert service ( to receive a text whenever an emergency arises in your area. Find a complete list of emergency numbers in the Netherlands.


Photo credit: garryknight (Queen's day).


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