About National Remembrance Day
When is National Remembrance Day?
The National Remembrance Day is observed in the Netherlands on May 4th. It is a national day of commemoration, not a public holiday.
History of National Remembrance Day
Since the end of the Second World War, the Netherlands has been commemorating its dead on May 4th. From 1961, the Dutch victims of the Second World War are remembered together with Dutch victims of other conflicts, wars and peacekeeping missions that have taken place since the outbreak of the Second World War in the Netherlands.
The national observance of Remembrance Day in the Netherlands takes place on May 4th, at 8pm. At that moment, two minutes of silence are observed throughout the country. A commemoration ceremony is held on Dam Square in Amsterdam in the presence of the head of state and various representatives of both the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Dutch Parliament. This national observance of Remembrance Day is held simultaneously with local commemoration ceremonies in nearly every town and city in the Netherlands.
On May 4th, all shops are required by law to close by 7pm. The vast majority of the cafés, bars and restaurants, but also casinos, also comply with the National Committee’s request to honour the two minutes of silence. Football matches and large pop concerts are temporarily brought to a halt.
Public transport and road traffic will come to a standstill throughout the whole country at 8pm.