May 4 & 5: Remembering and celebrating

4th of May

On the fourth of May, the Dutch were officially liberated from Nazi Germany. This has become the national Remembrance Day for the Netherlands. We have a two-minute silence to commemorate all civilians and armed forces, who died during World War II. In every city, mostly on big squares, the Dutch come together and take a moment to realise what happened as well as to remember that this can never ever happen again.
In the past decade, the fourth of May has become more then a remembrance for the victims of World War II. On this day, we think of all the people in the world, who live in terrible conditions because of wars and terrorism. For instance: Refugees are invited to come and share stories about the war, the terror but also the love they have received from people.

5th of May

The fifth of May is the official Independence Day of the Netherlands. On this day, we celebrate our freedom and the fact that we can live our lives in peace. Big freedom festivals are hosted in fourteen different cities in the Netherlands. Utrecht organizes a big musical festival in the neighbourhood Transwijk. The fifth of May is always a happy day where people from all ages come together and enjoy (hopefully) the nice spring weather and amazing music by Dutch artists. Every year, one band is elected to become the ‘ambassadors of freedom’. They carry the ‘freedom fire’ by helicopter to all the different cities throughout the Netherlands.

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