On which public holidays are schools closed in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, all schools are closed on public holidays, such as Kerstmis (Christmas) and Pasen (Easter). Schools can choose whether to be open or closed on certain religious or other special days that are not public holidays.

Public holidays

Schools in the Netherlands are closed on the following public holidays:

  • Eerste kerstdag (Christmas Day);
  • Tweede kerstdag (Boxing Day);
  • Nieuwjaarsdag (New Year's Day);
  • Eerste paasdag (Easter Monday);
  • Koningsdag – 27 April (King’s Day);
  • Bevrijdingsdag – 5 May (Liberation Day);
  • Hemelvaartsdag (Ascension Day);
  • Pinksteren (Whit Monday).

Always check with your child’s school to find out when it is closed.

Koningsdag and Bevrijdingsdag

Koningsdag and Bevrijdingsdag are public holidays in the Netherlands. Schools are nearly always closed on these 2 days. To know for sure if your school will be closed, contact them directly.  

Religious holidays

Schools are allowed to give pupils the day off for religious days that are not public holidays. On such days all pupils are off, and not just those who observe the religious holiday in question. Examples of such days include Good Friday, days of prayer and thanks, and Eid al Fitr.

Schools must announce all days they will be closed in the schoolgids (school prospectus). This way parents already know when the school will be open and closed before the new school year starts. Schools must also meet the legal requirements for hours of education provided.

Special leave for religious or spiritual reasons

In certain cases pupils may be granted special leave to observe religious or spiritual holidays on days their school is not closed. They will then be exempt from compulsory education on that day for religious or spiritual reasons.


Pupils cannot be granted special leave to celebrate Carnaval  (Carnival). There are enough opportunities outside school time to celebrate Carnaval, which lasts from Sunday to Tuesday evening. In practice, many schools in the south of the Netherlands schedule short holidays during this period.