Easter Monday is a day off work for many people in the Netherlands. It is not associated with a specific religious ritual, but is a time to relax, perform household tasks and enjoy the company of family or friends.
Is Easter Monday a Public Holiday?
Dutch employees are not legally entitled to a day off on public holidays. Schools, offices, businesses, and stores may be closed or open.
What Do People Do?
Some people spend Easter Monday in much the same way as Easter Sunday. They eat a large festive breakfast or brunch and decorate or search for eggs. They may also perform household maintenance or seasonal tasks in their gardens, take a walk along the coast, and ride on a cycle while admiring the first signs of spring. Easter fires (paasvuren) are lit in some villages in the northern and eastern parts of the Netherlands.
Easter Monday is also a time to visit shopping malls specialized in furniture, kitchens, garden accessories or plants. Many of these outlets have special deals only for one day or organize Easter-themed family entertainment with the Easter hare's visit and Easter egg hunts. Shows of new or used cars, vans, caravans and campers are also popular.
The Keukenhof is a park near the town of Lisse and was specially created to display spring flowers, particularly tulips, at their best. On Easter Monday, visitors are expected to wear an Easter bonnet and there are prizes for the prettiest and most extravagant bonnets. City farms that aim to introduce children to farming and food production methods often host special events such as Easter egg hunts, workshops to make Easter or spring decorations, or opportunities to see newly hatched chicks, newborn lambs and other young animals.
Many people in the Netherlands have a day off work on Easter Monday. Banks, post offices and many businesses are closed. Many stores are open but may open later and/or close earlier than usual, but others are closed all day. Public transport services generally operate a slightly reduced service, but there may be no public transport in rural areas. There are some restrictions on the sale of alcohol on Easter Monday. There may be some congestion around shopping malls specialized in furniture or garden supplies and popular visitor attractions and on routes back from popular short break destinations.
Easter Monday does not have any special significance in religious terms. However, it falls on the day after Easter Sunday and is a traditional day off work for many people in the Netherlands.
For many people, traffic jams and busy shopping malls are symbolic of Easter Monday. However, cycle rides in the country, Easter eggs, newly hatched chicks, spring flowers and newborn lambs are also important symbols. Easter fires (paasvuren) represent leaving the old season and year behind and beginning a new one in a tidy and orderly way.