Living in the Netherlands? Here’s a list of all the Dutch public holidays you need to know in 2020, as well as other important dates to make a note of on your calendar.
Whether you’re living in the Netherlands or just visiting, it’s important to note the dates of the Netherland’s public holidays as many businesses typically close.
To ensure you don’t miss out on anything important, our guide puts together a list of the Netherland’s public holidays and important dates for your calendar.
Introduction to Dutch public holidays
There are important Dutch national holidays, while some holidays in the Netherlands vary across regions. For example, there are several regional variations of Dutch carnival in February and March in Catholic areas. However, for all Dutch citizens – and plenty of visiting revelers – King’s Day is arguably the biggest of all Netherlands’ public holidays.
It is important to note is that if a Dutch holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the public holiday is not typically transferred to another day in the week.
Dutch public holidays 2020
- Wednesday, 1 January: New Year’s Day (Nieuwjaarsdag)
- Friday, 10 April: Good Friday (Goede Vrijdag) – only for government workers – not an official public holiday
- Monday, 13 April: Easter Monday (Pasen)
- Monday, 27 April: King’s Day (Koningsdag)
- Saturday, 4 May: National Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking) – not an official holiday
- Tuesday, 5 May: Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) – official holiday every five years (2020, 2025, 2030, etc.)
- Thursday, 21 May: Ascension (Hemelvaart)
- Monday, 1 June: Pentecost (Pinksteren)
- Friday, 25 December: Christmas Day (Eerste Kerstdag)
- Saturday, 26 December: Boxing Day (Tweede Kerstdag)
Important dates in the Netherlands
- Sunday, 29 March: Clocks go forward one hour as daylight saving time (DST) starts
- Sunday, 10 May: Mother’s Day
- Monday, 4 May: National Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking) – not an official holiday
- Sunday, 21 June: Father’s Day
- Sunday, 25 October: Clocks go back one hour as daylight saving time (DST) ends
- Wednesday, 11 November: Sint Maarten’s Day – when children typically go singing from door to door in exchange for sweets, vaguely reminiscent of Halloween
- Sunday, 6 December: Sinterklaas (Sint arrives in the Netherlands in mid-November) – not an official holiday
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. Koopzondag, however, means shops have been given an assigned Sunday to open.
Dutch school holidays
See our guide to school holidays in the Netherlands.
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 have been tested once a month nationwide. 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.
The Dutch government also maintains a website with information on emergency situations (noodsituaties in Dutch), or you can also subscribe to the government’s 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).