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Whit Monday in the Netherlands

The second day of Pentecost in the Netherlands is a popular day for outdoor activities, markets, sailing and other sports. It falls on a Monday seven weeks after Easter Monday.

Is Whit Monday a Public Holiday?

Whit Monday is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Camping and other outdoor activities are ways to spend Whit Monday, also known as the second day of Pentecost, in the Netherlands.

©iStockphoto.com/Philip Lange

What Do People Do?

The Pentecost weekend in the Netherlands is one of the first warm spring weekends and it is a popular time for outdoor activities. Many people go for a walk or cycle around the countryside and it is seen as the first real weekend of the sailing season. If it rains or is unusually cold, garden centers and shopping malls specialized in furniture are often busy. The second day of Pentecost is the last day of many open air music festivals.

In many rural areas and some parts of cities, fairs, themed street markets and outdoor village festivals are held. Outdoor exhibitions of tents are also held so people can choose a new tent for the long summer holiday. In Schoonhoven, a small town near Rotterdam that is known for its jewelry school and workshops, the National Silver Day and a renowned silver market are held. Some farms also hold open days to introduce people, particularly children, to farming and food production techniques.

Many families have a tradition of doing something together with a range of relatives during the Pentecost weekend. This can be a chance for relatives to get together for a few days. Some families spend just one day together. Others book places on a camp site or chalets in a holiday village and spend the whole weekend on various activities.

In Zealand, a province in the south-west of the country, the second (Monday) and third (Tuesday) days of Pentecost are important dates for the traditional sport of ring riding (ringrijden). Children older than twelve years and adults ride bareback on horses along a short straight track. While they are riding, a lance is used to spear a small metal ring hanging from a rope. The winner is the person who spears the most rings during the competition.

Public Life

In the Netherlands, many people have a day off work on the second day of Pentecost. Banks, post offices and many businesses are closed. Depending on local government policies and customs, stores may be open or closed. Stores may open later and/or close earlier than usual. Public transport services generally operate a slightly reduced service but there may be no public transport in rural areas.

There are some restrictions on selling alcohol on the second day of Pentecost. There may be some congestion around shopping malls specialized in furniture or garden supplies and popular visitor attractions. There may also be congestion on routes back from popular short break destinations, such as Belgium, northern France and some areas in the east of the Netherlands.

Background

The second day of Pentecost does not have special significance in religious terms. It falls on the day after Pentecost and many people in the Netherlands do not have to work on this day.

About Whit Monday in other countries

Read more about Whit Monday.

Whit Monday Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010MonMay 24Whit MondayNational holiday
2011MonJun 13Whit MondayNational holiday
2012MonMay 28Whit MondayNational holiday
2013MonMay 20Whit MondayNational holiday
2014MonJun 9Whit MondayNational holiday
2015MonMay 25Whit MondayNational holiday
2016MonMay 16Whit MondayNational holiday
2017MonJun 5Whit MondayNational holiday
2018MonMay 21Whit MondayNational holiday
2019MonJun 10Whit MondayNational holiday
2020MonJun 1Whit MondayNational holiday

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