Dutch holidays are regulated in collective agreements (CAO) and labour agreements so check your employer’s CAO or labour agreement to see what holidays are considered to be free days. If you work on a public holiday, you are (often) entitled to extra pay. Finally, as an employee, you are also entitled to holiday leave.
Types of Dutch holidays
Holidays in the Netherlands can be divided into three categories:
Dutch national holidays
There are two national holidays in the Netherlands: King’s Day (Koningsdag) and Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag).
Dutch public holidays
The commonly recognised public holidays in the Netherlands are the Dutch national holidays, New Year’s Day, and a few Christian holidays.
Other holidays in the Netherlands
Additionally, the Netherlands also has a number of holidays that are not legally recognised (e.g. Sinterklaas).
School holidays in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, there is a school-free period of six weeks in the summer (zomervakantie) and two in the winter (kerstvakantie). In addition, schools also schedule holidays in:
Spring (voorjaarsvakantie, carnavalsvakantie or krokusvakantie)
Which Dutch laws could land you in jail? Or, as Dutch tolerance goes, what crazy things can you get away with under Dutch law?
The Dutch may have a reputation for rules, agendas and acting ‘normal’, but Dutch laws have been some of the most ground-breaking, tolerant and flexible in the world. While other countries are starting to follow the examples of Dutch law, for example on soft drugs and gay marriage, they were quite an unbelievable advancement at the time, the most notable being when the Netherlands became the first country in the world to recognise gay marriage more than 15 years ago, in 2001.
Tolerant and intolerant Dutch laws
Below are some more interesting, funny, weird and unbelievable Dutch laws you should know when visiting or living in the Netherlands.
It is against Dutch law to urinate in a canal – but acceptable if you are pregnant.
It is illegal to smoke tobacco in all public places but not cannabis, which became a confusing matter when police fined a man for smoking a mixture of both in a coffeehouse, with the penalty laid down for the tobacco part.
It is illegal for more than three single people to share a house, an attempt to stop house sharing, which is also illegal.
How to learn languages for free? This collection features lessons in 48 languages, including Dutch, Spanish, French, English, Mandarin, Italian, Russian and more. Download audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player and you’re good to go.
The Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy. Normally once every four years the Dutch citizens entitled to vote (Dutch nationals aged 18 or over) elect the people who will represent them in Parliament, so the elections are the basis of democracy.
Parliament’s duties include scrutinising the work of the Government and making new laws in cooperation with the Government. The Dutch Parliament is called “the States General”. It is bicameral, which means it consists of two chambers: the Senate (Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal) and the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal).
If you’re passing through Friesland (or a couple of other regions in the Netherlands) this summer and see someone flying through the air on a pole, don’t worry: you’re just seeing Fierljeppen.
Following up from our recent piece on the Frisian sport of Kaatsen– handball – we felt it was only right to turn our attention to another distinctly Frisian activity, namely the sport that sees hundreds of people floating gracefully through the air on top of a pole: Fierljeppen.
The game can be quite well summarised by breaking down its name: in West Frisian, “fier”means “far”, and “ljeppen” means “leaping”. In essence, it is a bit like the Pole Vault, but instead of jumping over a bar and on to a large crash mat, you jump over waterways in Friesland.
See the history of the Netherlands, from 2000 BC to now.
Please note that the coastline from 500BC to 1000AD is not entirely correct. Locations of tribes before 500AD are mostly estimates.