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Public Holidays in the Netherlands

Good Friday

Good Friday (nl: Goede vrijdag) is annually on the Friday before Easter. On this day, Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus of Nazareth on the hill of Golgotha near the city of Jerusalem. According to the Bible narrative, Jesus died on the cross after being condemned by Roman governor Pontius Pilate, persuaded by the Sanhedrin (High Council, long the supreme Jewish religious and political authority).

Incidentally, the day before Good Friday is Maundy Thursday or White Thursday (nl: Witte Donderdag). On this Thursday, Jesus and his followers sat together at the Last Supper. Judas betrayed Jesus, who was then imprisoned. In Catholic churches, covering crucifixes with a white robe on Maundy Thursday is customary. Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of Jesus' passion. Maundy Thursday is not a public holiday.

Public holiday

Goede Vrijdag is an official holiday in the Netherlands, but not everyone has a day off.

Salaried employees and civil servants usually have to work on Good Friday unless the employer or the employment or collective agreement says otherwise. No law in the Netherlands states that employees are off work on certain holidays. There is, therefore, no legal right to a day off on a public holiday. The collective agreement (Collectieve arbeidsovereenkomst CAO) or employment contract states whether employees are 'off' on public holidays or have to work after all.

Pupils and students usually have Good Friday off, as schools and universities are closed that day. To be sure, one should check with the respective institution.

Opening hours

Public institutions are usually closed. Whether a school is compulsory on this day depends on the school.

Many shops, DIY stores, furniture stores and car dealers are open in large cities. Generally, shops may be open until 7 pm on Good Friday, and it may be that the municipality has permitted it to be open longer.

Supermarkets may open until 7 pm. Restaurants, cafés and pubs are open.

Smaller or more tourist places may have adapted opening hours. This also depends on local regulations.

Good Friday in the Netherlands:

Goede Vrijdag 2024 Good Friday 2024 Friday, 29th March 2024
Goede Vrijdag 2025 Good Friday 2025 Friday, 18th April 2025
Goede Vrijdag 2026 Good Friday 2026 Friday, 3rd April 2026
Goede Vrijdag 2027 Good Friday 2027 Friday, 26th March 2027
Goede Vrijdag 2028 Good Friday 2028 Friday, 14th April 2028