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Public Holidays in the Netherlands

National Remembrance 15 August 1945

Logo Nationale Herdenking 15 Augustus 1945

The war against Japan began on December 8, 1941. This led to battles at sea and in the air. From 1942 to 1945, the Dutch East Indies were occupied by Japan, a German ally in Southeast Asia. The war in the Kingdom of the Netherlands officially ended on August 15, 1945 with Japan's surrender, shortly after the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Millions of citizens of the Kingdom of the Netherlands suffered from hunger, forced labor, violence, and terror. 25,000 Dutch dead are buried in war cemeteries in Indonesia and elsewhere. Many Indonesian victims have not received a special burial site. The aftermath of the war is still felt today.

Every year on August 15, the official end of World War II and the associated suffering are commemorated. On this day, the Indian jasmine flower, the Melati, is worn as a national symbol of respect.

At the Indies Monument in The Hague, a remembrance is held every year on August 15 for all victims of the war against Japan and the Japanese occupation. The war experiences shaped all population groups in the archipelago colony.

While the war ended on August 15, this did not signify the end of conflicts. On August 17, 1945, Indonesian nationalists Soekarno and Hatta declared Indonesia's independence.

The Indies Monument in The Hague was inaugurated in 1988 by Queen Beatrix. The annual commemoration attracts several thousand participants and is broadcast live on television.

Despite the distance of the war from the current generation, there is a growing interest in the Indian identity and history. More than 2 million Dutch have an Indian family history. There is increasing participation and interest among young people in this history and identity, especially on social media and through vloggers and bloggers.

Op 15 augustus staan we stil bij het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog voor het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden en herdenken we alle slachtoffers van de oorlog tegen Japan en de Japanse bezetting van Nederlands-Indië. De oorlogservaringen en de grootschalige ontheemding die volgde werken door tot op de dag van vandaag bij inmiddels 2 miljoen Nederlanders met een Indisch oorlogsverhaal in de familie en ook in onze samenleving als geheel.

On August 15th, we pause to mark the end of World War II for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and to commemorate all the victims of the war against Japan and the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies. The war experiences and the widespread displacement that followed continue to affect, to this day, 2 million Dutch people with an Indies war story in their family and our society as a whole.

Not an Official Public Holiday

National Remembrance August 15 is not an official public holiday in the Netherlands, but it is still a very important day for the state and the population.

Opening Hours

Shops do not have any special opening hours on this day.