On May 4th the Dutch remember the people who have fought for and died during World War II, and wars in general; Dodenherdenking. Traditionally, the main ceremonies are observed in Amsterdam at the National Monument on Dam square. This ceremony is usually attended by members of the cabinet and the royal family, military leaders, representatives of the resistance movement and other social groups. Throughout the country two minutes of silence are held at 20.00. Public transport is stopped, as well as all other traffic. The flags hang at half-staff.

On May 5th the liberation is celebrated and festivals are being held in most places . Liberation Day; Bevrijdingsdag is celebrated each year on May 5 in the Netherlands to mark the end of the German occupation during the Second World War.  The nation was liberated largely by Canadian troops and to thank them each year thousands of Tulip bulbs are sent to Ottawa where the annual May Tulip Festival is held.

The government reminds everyone that on May 4 we have to remember and on May 5 we can celebrate;

4 mei vieren, 5 mei herdenken.

This year is the first of many years Bevrijdingsdag takes place on a Saturday, it seems like there are many more parties and festivals throughout Amsterdam this year because of that. I kind of made it a tradition to celebrate at a gay party next to the gay monument (Homomonument). It’s a bit of an extension of Queensday… Where will you celebrate Dutch Liberation Day?

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