Liberation Day could replace Pentecost Monday as a Dutch annual holiday

Dutch flags on Liberation Day
Dutch flags on Liberation DayPhoto: compuinfoto/DepositPhotos

The Netherlands could get a new annual national day off to honor Liberation Day, politician Paul Blokhuis said on Friday. The second-in-command at the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Sports said he would not stand in the way should such policy be introduced.

“There is a lot to be said for [the holiday]. I am the last person to oppose this,” he told radio program 1 op 1.

Currently, Liberation Day is celebrated annually as a national holiday, but many in the country do not get to take the day off from work like other holidays. It is celebrated more commonly as a national holiday every five years.

He acknowledged that it might be possible to sacrifice the day off given for Whit Monday to make room on the holiday calendar for Liberation Day. Blokhuis is a member of the ChristenUnie party, seen as the more progressive of the conservative Christian political parties.

“I am open to it,” Blokhuis said of swapping Whit Monday, also known as Tweede Pinksterdag or Pentecost Monday, for May 5. A similar idea was floated by D66 member Jan Paternotte two years ago.

“A very good plan! On Tuesday I want to ask the State Secretary how we can seriously investigate this,” said Paternotte, a Member of Parliament, on Twitter. “One national holiday every year to celebrate freedom.”

There was no mention of Liberation Day political policy in the ruling coalition agreement, but it could become an issue in the next election, Blokhuis said according to ANP.