Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in the Netherlands

Flower parades brighten many Dutch canals in early September.
  • Before planning a trip around a festival, verify the festival dates on the festival’s website or with a local tourist information office. For more information about these and other events, visit the official tourism site for the Netherlands.
  • This list includes major festivals in major cities, plus national holidays observed throughout the Netherlands. Many sights and banks close down on national holidays — keep it in mind when planning your itinerary. Note that this isn’t a complete list; holidays can strike without warning.
  • See upcoming holidays and festivals across Europe

2014

December 25:  Christmas (Kerstmis; closures)

December 26:  “Second Day” of Christmas (Tweede Kerstdag; closures)

2015

January 1:  New Year’s Day (closures)

January 17:  National Tulip Day, Amsterdam (official start of tulip season; tulips fill Dam Square and are free for the picking in the afternoon)

February–March:  Carnival (Mardi Gras) celebrations in various towns, mostly in the south

March 20–May 17:  Keukenhof flower show, near Lisse (huge gardens in bloom)

April 5–6:  Easter Sunday and Monday (closures)

April 12:  Rotterdam Marathon

April 25:  Bloemencorso (25-mile flower parade from Noordwijk to Haarlem)

April 27:  King’s Day (Koningsdag, King Willem-Alexander’s birthday; party in the streets of Amsterdam)

May 4:  Remembrance of WWII Dead (Dodenherdenking; laying of wreaths and two-minute silence)

May 5:  Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag; closures; Liberation Festival in Amsterdam with live music)

May 14:  Ascension Day (closures)

May 24–25:  Pentecost and Whit Monday (closures)

May 27–31:  Art Amsterdam (contemporary-art exhibition)

June:  Holland Arts Festival, Amsterdam (concerts, theater, etc.)

June:  The Hague Festivals (three weeks of music festivals: Festival Classique, Parkpop, and The Hague jazz)

June 12–14:  Pinkpop, near Maastricht (rock festival)

Late June:  Grachtenloop run around canals, Haarlem

Early July:  Amsterdam Roots Festival (ethnic food, music, world culture)

July 10–12:  North Sea Jazz Festival, The Hague

July 31–August 2:  Amsterdam Gay Pride

Early August:  Pluk de Nacht (outdoor film festival on the site of an old harbor in Amsterdam)

August 14–23:  Grachtenfestival (music and other festivities on Prinsengracht barges, Amsterdam)

August 15:  Assumption Day (closures)

August 19–22:  Haarlem Jazz (free jazz festival held on Grote Markt)

August 19–23:  SAIL Amsterdam (tall ships and other historic boats)

September (first week):  Flower parade on canals, from Aalsmeer to Amsterdam

September 11–13 (likely):  Jordaan Festival, Amsterdam (neighborhood street party)

September 12–13:  Open Monumentendag (normally closed historical sites open and free to the public)

September 22–23:  Yom Kippur (some closures of Jewish-history sights, including Anne Frank House and Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam)

October 18:  Amsterdam Marathon

November 13–16:  Crossing Border Festival, The Hague (books, music, spoken word; much of it in English)

November 15:  Sinterklaas Procession, Amsterdam (when Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet arrive from Spain)

November 18 –29 (likely):  International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

December 5:  St. Nicholas’ Eve (Sinterklaasavond, when Dutch children get their presents from Sinterklaas)

December 25:  Christmas (Kerstmis; closures)

December 26:  “Second Day” of Christmas (Tweede Kerstdag; closures)