Remembrance & Liberation Day in Amsterdam

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.

During the annual Remembrance of the Dead ceremony, people all over the country observe two minutes of silence at 20:00, commemorating the civilians and members of the armed forces who have died in war and peacekeeping missions since the outbreak of World War II.

The national remembrance ceremony takes place in Amsterdam at Dam Square, led by the Dutch King and Queen, and the Mayor of Amsterdam. However, many towns and cities host ceremonies, too. No matter if you attend a ceremony or not, the Netherlands falls silent at 20:00 on 4 May. Public transport providers will typically pause all services, while bars, restaurants and music venues will request their patrons respect the silence. Even on the street, many people will stop to pay respect and reflect.

Celebrating freedom in the Netherlands

On 5 May, thoughts turn to freedom. Liberation Day marks the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of World War II. A number of official Bevrijdingsdag Festivals take place throughout the Netherlands; one of the biggest, Bevrijdingspop (website in Dutch), takes place in Haarlem; there’s the Vrije Westen festival at Westerpark in Amsterdam; and there’s also an official festival in the heart of Almere. At these you can expect a vibrant mix of pop, hip-hop, dance and world music. 

Remembrance & Liberation Day in Amsterdam: 4 & 5 May