Festivities, Holidays and Traditions in Amsterdam

Queen's Day

Every April 30th the birthday of the deceased Queen Juliana is celebrated throughout the country, a celebration better known as Queen's Day or Koninginnedag. It is tradition for everyone dress in orange and various events are held at different locations in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam you will find the famous flea market with stalls on sidewalks and temporary tents throughout the capital.

Liberation day

On May 4th and 5 all major cities in the Netherlands celebrate the Liberation,  commemorating the end of World War II. May 4, Memorial Day, is the day that impacts the population the most. The Queen and Prince leave a wreath at the National Monument located on Dam Square in Amsterdam to commemorate war victims. After the offering, 2 minutes of silence are held across the country. Most homes and businesses join this tribute.
On the fifth day, Liberation is celebrated with concerts and activities in Amsterdam and in other provincial capitals. This day is only an official holiday every 5 years. Jewish communities and History Museums join the celebration with various activities.

Sinterklaas (Santa Claus)

In the Netherlands “gifts evening” also takes place as a part of the Christmas celebrations. In mid-November Sinterklass, St. Nicholas, arrives accompanied by Zwarte Pieten (black Peter) willing to give sweets and gifts to children. The festival takes place the night of December 5th and both adults and children receive gifts that are often accompanied by a poem.

Grachtenfestival (Festival of the channels)

From August 12th to August 21th one of the most popular and beautiful festivals of classical music in Amsterdam is celebrated. For nine days, concerts are held in peculiar parts of the city: churches, shops, libraries, parks... but especially in the channels. These become a great floating stage in which more than 100 concerts, much of them free, take place. An amazing show that you can not miss if you're in Amsterdam during this time.

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