Here is a list of Dutch national holidays (Nationale feestdagen) in 2019, 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.
Dutch public holidays in 2019
- Tuesday, 1 January: New Year’s Day (Nieuwjaarsdag)
- Friday, 19 April: Good Friday (Goede Vrijdag) – not an official holiday
- Monday, 22 April: Easter Monday (Pasen)
- Saturday, 27 April: King’s Day (Koningsdag)
- Saturday, 4 May: National Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking) – not an official holiday
- Sunday, 5 May: Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) – official holiday every five years; next is 2020
- Thursday, 30 May: Ascension (Hemelvaart)
- 10–11 June: Pentecost (Pinksteren)
- Friday, 6 December: Sinterklaas (Sint arrives in the Netherlands in mid-November) – not an official holiday
- Wednesday, 25 December: Christmas Day (Eerste Kerstdag)
- Thursday, 26 December: Boxing Day (Tweede Kerstdag)
Important dates in the Netherlands
- Sunday, 31 March: Clocks go forward one hour as daylight saving time (DST) starts
- Monday, 1 April: April Fool’s Day
- Sunday, 12 May: Mother’s Day
- Sunday, 16 June: Father’s Day
- Sunday, 27 October: Clocks go back one hour as daylight saving time (DST) ends
- Monday, 11 November: 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. 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).