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Public Holidays in the Netherlands


Ketikoti, also spelt Keti-koti or Keti Koti, is a Surinamese holiday held annually on 1 July to celebrate the abolition of slavery.

The name means "chains broken". Ketikoti is also celebrated in the Netherlands but is not (yet) an official holiday. For years, there has been an effort to honour this day as a public holiday in the Netherlands.

On 1 July 1863, the Kingdom of the Netherlands abolished slavery in Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles with the "Emancipation Act". At that time, more than 45,000 originally African slaves were freed, 34,441 in Suriname. In 1863, after years of political wrangling, the law making slavery illegal was finally passed. But it did not mean absolute freedom: the slave owners were compensated with 300 guilders for each slave, but the freedmen received nothing. They were obliged to continue working in Suriname on a contract basis for another ten years.