Public Holidays in the Netherlands
New Year's Day (nl: Nieuwjaarsdag) is also the day in the Netherlands when the beginning of the new year is celebrated. In the Western world, this is on 1 January every year; in other cultures often at different times. Standard congratulations and good intentions are familiar during this celebration.
In the Netherlands, New Year's Day is an official holiday. All shops and many restaurants are closed. Dutch people recover from the Oudejaarsfeesten (New Year's Eve party), meet up with friends and usually have a quiet day. There may also be family gatherings to eat together.
But there are also numerous sporting activities, such as the Nieuwjaarsduik ('New Year's Dive'). This involves people jumping together into the cold North Sea, a canal or a lake every year at the turn of the year. The challenge is to jump into the water on a cold winter day. Actual diving is usually not possible. But maybe the Elfstedentoch will take place?
If the weather is good, there are numerous firework shows in addition to Vreugdevuren in Duindorp and Scheveningen. These include
- Het nationale vuurwerk: https://hetnationalevuurwerk.nl/
- Electric Fireworks Amsterdam: https://electricfireworks.nl/
Fireworks can be purchased three days before New Year. The days of the sale in 2022 are Thursday, 29, Friday, 30 and Saturday, 31 December. There are rules for buying fireworks in the Netherlands and abroad. For example, 25 kg of fireworks per household may be present or transported in a car. Fireworks from abroad must meet the requirements of Dutch law from the Fireworks Decree and the Decree on the Designation of Consumer and Theatrical Fireworks (Ract).
Buyers must be at least 12 or 16 years old to purchase fireworks. The minimum age depends on the type of fireworks.
Banned fireworks products from 2020
From 1 December 2020, traders and consumers will no longer be allowed to possess some fireworks products. These products may also no longer be ignited:
- Fireworks of category F3. The category is indicated on the packaging of the fireworks.
- Firecrackers, firecrackers and bangers (such as firecrackers or cannon blasts).
- Firecrackers (such as Chinese mats)
- single shot tubes (single shots)
- single rockets
Roman lights and baby rockets also remain prohibited.
Thus, while there is no nationwide fireworks ban in the Netherlands, there is a firecracker ban.
2022/2023: Fireworks allowed, but municipalities can ban them
Although fireworks are allowed nationwide, cities can also set their regulations. So in 2022/2023, at least 12 municipalities will have fireworks bans. These include Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Several cities, including Arnhem, are considering banning fireworks at the turn of 2023/2024.
At least 120 other municipalities are establishing fireworks-free zones. These are usually areas near hospitals, nursing homes, petting zoos, schools and churches. Alternatively, there are fireworks shows in some places. In Amsterdam, for example, there is a show on the Museumplein and Rotterdam on the Erasmus Bridge. In The Hague, the fireworks show for tomorrow has been cancelled because the weather is not cooperating. It is too windy. Other fireworks shows, such as in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, may also be affected.
For the turn of the year 2022/2023, fireworks and firecrackers were banned in
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Schiedam, Haarlem, Bloemendaal, Heemstede, Apeldoorn, Nijmegen, Heumen, Mook en Middelaar, Soest and Utrechtse Heuvelrug.
Only fireworks of category F1 may be set off there.
Carbide shooting: Municipality decides whether it is allowed or not
Shooting with carbide is not always allowed. This varies from municipality to municipality. Interested parties should therefore contact the municipality to find out whether shooting with carbide is permitted and, if so, under what conditions. A permit may be required.