Dutch Language Blog

Remembrance and Liberation Day 2016 Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Culture

May 4th and 5th mark a very important time in Dutch history. May 4th is Dodenherdenking or remembrance of the dead when the thousands who died during World War II and the Nazi invasion in the Netherlands are remembered. Since 1961, the day also commemorates those who died in other military conflicts. There are several ceremonies throughout the day, but the main ceremony is at the Dam Square in Amsterdam at 20:00. A minute of silence is observed throughout the country.

May 5th is Bevrijdingsdag or liberation day and is a day about celebration. Throughout the Netherlands, cities are filled with markets and music festivals, all aimed at celebrating the liberation of Nazi occupation. 

Amsterdam, being the capital of the Netherlands, will be host to many activities to celebrate Bevrijdingsdag and here is a list of some of the events going on.

Bevrijdingsfestival Amsterdam/Het Vrije Westen

In the cultuurpark Westergasfabriek, there will be a free music festival from 11:00 to 23:00. The bands are rock, indie and reggae type. There will also be a dancepodium, a jazzpodium, a kids area with stories about what the war was like in some neighborhoods, and a market.

For more information click check the 4 en 5 mei Amsterdam website.

Het Amsterdams Verbond

The Amsterdam Connection,” as this event is called, is all about the togetherness and fraternity of the Amsterdam nightlife. There will about about 50 DJ’s and artists will perform focusing on the ideas of freedom and tolerance.

For more information check the 4 en 5 mei Amsterdam website.


For those with children, the Vondelpark open air theatre will have music, theatre plays, workshops and coloring festivals since 13:00. To see the full schedule, check the website.

5 mei concert op de Amstel

On the evening of May 5th, the closing event of Bevrijdinsdag is the concert on the Amstel. The artist performing will be Ali B, Paul de Munnik, Hadewych Minis, the cast of the musical De Tweeling and the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest. The concert will also be available on the NOS TV channel. You can watch a glimpse of last year’s concert in the following video:

Do you commemorate Dodenherdenking or celebrate Bevrijdingsdag? How do you celebrate it?


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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!