The Netherlands boasts a diverse array of public holidays, each with its unique significance and festive customs. From the lively King's Day festivities to the evocative Remembrance Day ceremonies, Dutch public holidays offer a glimpse into the nation's rich heritage and collective identity. Learning about the traditions behind Dutch public holidays will make your integration easier, and knowing in advance when offices and schools will be closed will save you from any embarrassment!

Public Holidays 

During public holidays, schools and most businesses are closed. However, check your employer collective agreement to verify which days you will be free from work.
Here is an overview of the official public holidays for 2024.
New Year’s Day, Nieuwjaarsdag Monday 1 January 2024
Good Friday, Goede vrijdag Friday 29 March 2024 (not all businesses close)
Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, Eerste en tweede paasdag Sunday 31 March and Monday 1 April 2024
King’s Day, Koningsdag Saturday 27 April 2024
Liberation Day, Bevrijdingsdag Sunday 5 May 2024 (not an official day off in 2024)
Ascension Day, Hemelvaartsdag Thursday 9 May 2024
Whit Sunday and Whit Monday, Eerste en tweede pinksterdag Sunday 19 and Monday 20 May 2024
Christmas Day and Boxing Day, Eerste en tweede kerstdag Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 December 2024

School Holidays

For those who have children who go to school in the Netherlands there are some more dates to take into account. The school holidays in the Netherlands are different depending on the region: the country is divided in three areas (North, Centre, South), and the Leiden region follows the calendar of the Centre region. There are five school breaks during the year: while some are fixed and cannot be changed (Summer, Christmas, May), some can be extended or shifted by the single school (Autumn, Spring). Our advice is thus to always check with your school the exact dates.

The guidelines for school holidays for primary and secondary schools for the Leiden region in 2024 are:

Spring break (voorjaarsvakantie, carnavalsvakantie or krokusvakantie) February 17 - February 25, 2024
May vacation (meivakantie) April 27 - May 5, 2024
Summer vacation (zomervakantie) July 13 - August 25, 2024
Autumn vacation (herfstvakantie) October 26 - November 3, 2024
Christmas vacation (kerstvakantie) December 21, 2024 - January 5, 2025

Note that, since Ascension Day in 2024 will fall on 9 May, the government allowed schools to extend the May holiday (the suggested period is May 4 - May 12).

Discover Dutch Traditional Holidays

Find out what to do during the holidays!