The 2019 Holiday Guide

Compared to other countries, the Netherlands doesn’t have that many public holidays. The Dutch make up for that by celebrating each holiday to the fullest and by throwing in some important events and festivals.

Holidays in the Netherlands

Following the Gregorian calendar, the Dutch officially celebrate New Year’s Day (Nieuwjaarsdag) on January 1st. There is double the fun when it comes to Christmas as there is not just one Christmas Day (Eerste Kerstdag – December 25th), but two, with the second day (Tweede Kerstdag) being celebrated on December 26th. Easter (Eerste Paasdag) and Pentecost (Eerste Pinksterdag) fall on April 21st and June 9th, respectively, in 2019. King’s Day (Koningsdag), the national celebration of King Willem-Alexander’s birthday, takes place on April 27th. It will be an orange party no matter the weather, but everyone always has their fingers crossed that the sun will make an appearance that day.

Another important day in the Netherlands is May 5th, Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag). On this day, liberation from the Germans during the Second World War is celebrated. A national minute of silence is held and respected across the whole country on this day, together with a number of festivals and concerts being held. The children’s celebration of Sinterklaas is celebrated from the arrival of the white bearded man dressed in red’s arrival (November 16th 2019) until his departure on December 5th.

Netherlands’ Events 2019

The North Sea Jazz Festival is a yearly event held in Rotterdam. Lasting three days, the programme of jazz, blues, soul, funk, hip hop, R&B, and more, tends to feature many top class artists.

Pinkpop is a yearly festival that is considered the biggest in the Netherlands. It is held on the Pentecost weekend, which in Dutch is called Pinksteren. Thus, the name Pinkpop. Many famous music artists will perform this year, including Bastille, Lenny Kravitz, George Ezra, Major Lazer, and Anouk. Held every year in November, in Eindhoven, is GLOW. The public space light festival allows local and international artists to create art displays throughout the city. These beautiful and interactive pieces of art are often combined with new media technologies, such as projection, animations, and sensors.

Other Noteworthy Events

  • Keukenhof
  • The International Film Festival (IFFR)
  • Zwarte Cross