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Weekends and holidays 2024

22.12.2023

The Netherlands has far fewer public holidays than other European countries. At the same time, the law does not prescribe mandatory days off on holidays. Introducing the Dutch holiday calendar for 2024 and useful information on how to navigate weekdays and weekends.

Holidays vs weekends

There are only 8 public holidays in the Netherlands: New Year, Good Friday, Easter, King's Day, Emancipation Day, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Christmas. They are mainly concentrated in April-May. Two holidays, King's Day (April 27) and Liberation Day (May 5), are national holidays. However, while most Dutch people will have a day off on King's Day, May 5th is not a day off.

In the Netherlands, they even work on Labor Day, unlike many other European countries. In addition, there are days - for example, Good Friday - when the day off is given only to municipal officials.

Where are days off for employees?

Information about whether you (or, if you are an employer, your employees) work on a particular holiday can be found in the collective labor agreement (collectieve arbeidsovereenkomst, CAO). As a rule, weekends coincide with official holidays. If there is no such document for your sector, then the employer indicates similar information in the contract - more about this here.

Celebration date Day
New Year - Nieuwjaarsdag 1 January Monday
Good Friday - Goede vrijdag March 29 Friday
Easter March 31 Sunday
Easter Monday - Paasmaandag 1 April Monday
King's Day - Koningsdag 27 April Saturday
Liberation Day - Bevrijdingsdag 5 May Sunday
Ascension - Hemelvaartsdag 9 May Thursday
Pentecost (Trinity) - Pinksteren 19 May Sunday
Trinity Monday - Pinkstermaandag 20 May Monday
Christmas - Kerstmis 25 December Wednesday
Second day of Christmas - 2de Kerstdag 26 December Thursday
Important! These dates are not mandatory holidays for everyone. If you are an employee, ask your employer about days off.

Holiday traditions in the Netherlands

Although there are relatively few holidays in the country, the Dutch love and know how to celebrate. If you want to know interesting details, watch the video review from Svetlana Koshek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUZilo9n5lY.

Note! Since there are many Muslims in the Netherlands, in addition to Christian holidays and memorial days, important Islamic holidays and memorial days, such as Eid al-Adha and Ramadan, are widely celebrated in the country.

There is also a whole series of annual special days that are not legally recognized, but are traditionally celebrated by large audiences. For example, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Carnival and Animal Day. And finally, do not forget about local holidays in certain cities or regions of the country. For example, in some parts of North Brabant, the Epiphany (Driekoningen) is celebrated in a special way.

Often, holidays and weekends become the starting point in drawing up plans for the year and vacations. However, if you have children, you must also take into account the time of the holidays - see the schedule of school holidays 2023-2024. in the Netherlands and explanations to it on link.

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