NL Almanac

A guide to the principal Dutch public holidays and festivals

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Dutch Public Holidays and Festivals

Overview of the principal Dutch public holidays and festivals

Overview of the principal Dutch public holidays and festivals from noisy New year to the rather sweet Sinterklaas

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Dutch New Year Celebrations

New year celebrations in Holland always go with a bang

(The Dutch)... stay at home ... until midnight, then dash out on the streets and indulge in a freestyle orgy of pyrotechnics

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Carnival in the Netherlands

‘Carnaval’: the unique, Dutch version of Mardi Gras

...TV and radio devote hours to popular Carnival songs whose lyrics are at best earthy, at worst obscene

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King’s Day

Dutch patriotic fervour, nationwide street market and mass party rolled into one

The numbers are swelled by foreign tourists, there to sample the unique, cosy atmosphere of this Dutchest of holidays

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Remembrance Day and Liberation Day

Dutch 4-5 May holidays — no celebration without commemoration

Their slogan was “no celebration without commemoration”, so Remembrance Day always fell before Liberation Day

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The festival of Sintmaarten

The Dutch winter festival of Saint Martin of Tours

Children hold small lanterns ... as they knock on doors and sing songs or recite little poems in exchange for bags of candy and fruit

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The Dutch Sinterklaas festival

The mysteries of the Dutch Sinterklaas festival unravelled

Sinterklaas, as the legend goes, arrives in Holland by steamer from his home in Spain a couple of weeks before his birthday