Amsterdam joins the rest of the Netherlands on 4 May when its citizens pause to pay their respects to the victims and fallen soldiers of World War II, as well as more recent military conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Then it's time for a national party on 5 May, as the crowds take to the streets to celebrate their freedom on Liberation Day.
National Remembrance Day
The first National Remembrance Day (Nationale Dodenherdenking) was held on Amsterdam's Dam Square in 1945 and this is still the focus of the city's ceremonies. Head to the square to join members of the Dutch royal family, major political names and military representatives for the ceremony, which is built around the traditional bugle call and two-minutes of silence at 20:00.
Learn more about the activities and events on Remembrance Day in Amsterdam (4 May).
Just as a number of European nations celebrate Victory in Europe Day on 8 May, the Netherlands pulls out all the stops for Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) a few days earlier on 5 May. The day commemorates the German army's surrender in the Netherlands on 5 May 1945 and the liberation of the country, just prior to the end of World War II in Europe.
Learn more about the activities and events on Liberation Day in Amsterdam (5 May).
Introduced in 2012, the Vrijheidsmaaltijd ('Freedom Feast') is a Liberation Day initiative to unite Amsterdammers (and everyone else) with good food and discussion. In 2013, more than 200 public locations will participate, and naturally, citizens are encouraged to host their own Freedom Feast for friends, family and neighbours. There will also be a special public dining court on Dam Square.
Learn more about the Freedom Feast.