On the 5th of May the entire country goes crazy as it will be Liberation Day! This day, following remembrance day on May 4th, is all about celebrating that our country was liberated on the 5th of May 1945 from the second World War, and I assure you, we’re quite good at celebrating our freedom! Throughout the country cost-free festivals are organized to pay a tribute to the freedom we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy.
What are we celebrating?
After five horrific years of war, Nazi Germany surrendered on may 5th 1940, and a state of ecstasy erupted across the entire country. Ever since that joyful day the Netherlands has been celebrating their acquired freedom on this day. It is important to us Dutchies to stay aware of the fact that freedom is not something we can take for granted. On this day we also realize the vulnerability that freedom encompasses. Even though we celebrate our freedom today, we should not forget the suffering of millions of people around the globe due to armed conflicts and suppression. The 5th of May therefore does not only revolve about our freedom, but also about contemplating the people who do not have the opportunity to speak, think and act as they like.
Party with the Dutch
If you want to experience true Dutch happiness with a hint of nationalism you should definitely party with us on this exceptional day! Throughout the day festivities are hosted in various cities across the country. Obviously, Utrecht hosts the most awesome one! With free entrance, cool performances by famous Dutch artists we can ensure you that there will be an amazing vibe. Additionally, you can enjoy the sun, good music and order some food at one of the many food trucks. The location of the festival is Park Transwijk, which is easily reachable by bike or bus. Check out their website for more information. Make sure you don’t miss out on the after-party hosted at Tivoli!
Another famous festival we can recommend you is hosted in Haarlem: Bevrijdingspop Haarlem. With over 150,000 visitors last year, it is is one of the biggest festivals on Liberation Day in the country, . If you’re up for some sightseeing you should definitely check out both the city of Haarlem and its amazing festival. Many popular Dutch artists are performing such as De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig and Douwe Bob (Check them out on YouTube!).
Music in Amsterdam
Besides the festivals, the National Committee of May 4th and 5th organizes an official Liberation Concert. The concert takes place on the Amstel river in Amsterdam. Every year another orchestra hosts the event. This year the Metropole Orchestra, led by chef-choir master Jules Buckley. Other Dutch artists will be accompanying the orchestra on this special night. You can enjoy the concert from the docks alongside the river. If you’re not up for a trip to Amsterdam, it is also possible to watch the event on national television (NPO 1, 20:30h).
Don’t hesitate and come celebrate our freedom on this important date. We honor our freedom by reminiscing on what we have, and what other people around the globe should also deserve. How do you celebrate freedom in your country? Let us know in the comments and pass on that peaceful sensation!