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Public Holidays in the Netherlands

Ascension Day

On Hemelvaartsdag (Ascension Day), Christianity remembers that Jesus Christ ascended to God, his Father in heaven, on the 40th day of his resurrection.

Ascension Day is celebrated on the 40th day of the Easter season, 39 days after Easter Sunday, and is part of the Easter cycle. Ascension Day always falls on a Thursday, ten days before Pentecost. Ascension Day is also a holiday of the Christian Workers' Movement. It is remembered for the papal encyclical for social justice proclaimed by Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, in 1891.

People used to get up at three o'clock before sunrise on Ascension Day. They began to walk barefoot, singing through the grass because this ritual was expected to have a magical or healing effect. This was called treading the dew.

In the Netherlands, it is a public holiday. Depending on local regulations, shops are often open. Public institutions are closed throughout the country. Check the opening hours of shops and restaurants online, as these can vary significantly from region to region.

Ascension Day in the Netherlands is not the same as Father's Day in Germany. In the Netherlands, Father's Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June, unlike in Germany where it coincides with Ascension Day.

Public holiday

Hemelvaartsdag is an official holiday in the Netherlands.

Opening hours

Whether shops are open on Sundays varies depending on the municipality. The basic principle of the Shop Opening Act is that shops are closed on Sundays and public holidays, as well as before 6:00 am and after 10:00 pm. But municipalities can grant permission to shop owners to open their shops on these days and at these times. Besides Sunday, these are:

  • New Year's Day
  • Easter Monday
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • both Christmas Days

If you want to shop, you should check well with the relevant municipality and, of course, the shop.

Restaurants, cafés and pubs are open on Hemelvaartsdag.

Public institutions, educational institutes and schools are closed on Ascension Day.

Father's Day

While Father's Day is also celebrated in Germany on Ascension Day, this is not the case in the Netherlands. Father's Day in the Netherlands takes place on the third Sunday in June.

Ascension Day in the Netherlands:

Hemelvaartsdag 2023 Ascension Day 2023 Thursday, 18th May 2023
Hemelvaartsdag 2024 Ascension Day 2024 Thursday, 9th May 2024
Hemelvaartsdag 2025 Ascension Day 2025 Thursday, 29th May 2025
Hemelvaartsdag 2026 Ascension Day 2026 Thursday, 14th May 2026
Hemelvaartsdag 2027 Ascension Day 2027 Thursday, 6th May 2027
Hemelvaartsdag 2028 Ascension Day 2028 Thursday, 25th May 2028
Hemelvaartsdag 2029 Ascension Day 2029 Thursday, 10th May 2029
Hemelvaartsdag 2030 Ascension Day 2030 Thursday, 30th May 2030
Hemelvaartsdag 2031 Ascension Day 2031 Thursday, 22nd May 2031