The fourth of May, we commemorate the people who died during war and peacekeeping missions since World War two. At 20:00 we are silent for two minutes. May fifth, we celebrate Liberation Day. You can find festivities everywhere around Amsterdam. Where to be at what day? We’ll guide you through it.
Fourth of May
Before the big ceremony on the Dam Square, leading up to the two minutes of silence at 20:00 o’clock, a service is held at The New Church. Members of the Royal Family and government representatives, war survivors and other veterans will attend. After this, the King and Queen walk to the monument on Dam Square to lay the first wreath on behalf of the citizens of the Netherlands, followed by a lot of other beautiful wreaths on behalf of related organizations.
After the two minutes of silence, which almost everyone attends, so please try to be quiet as well, everyone who feels the need to, can lay flowers next to the rest of the wreaths. You, and everyone around you, is welcome to attend the ceremony on Dam Square. Keep in mind it will be very crowded and things like the public transport will have an altered schedule! You can use this opportunity at the monument to pay your respects to the people around you, to people you love, to war veterans, or just to ‘remember’. There is also an annual ceremony at the Homomonument, near the Westerchurch, to remember all the gay and lesbian people who lost their lives during the war. You’re free to do whatever and be whoever you want, and that is exactly the point. That’s what we celebrate May fifth!
For more information and the full program for this day, visit the official 4 & 5 May website.
Fifth of May
Today we celebrate the liberation of The Netherlands during World War two. Reason to party! There will be multiple festivities throughout the city. We will list the five best ones below.
Restaurants, parcs, churches, squares, even whole neighborhoods invite you to come and share a ‘freedom feast’ with them. Some people will ask a small fee for you to join, but there is one rule for them: they can’t make profit out of it. This event is held in spirit of freedom and getting together, so please don’t hesitate to join one of the 200 dinners!
Prepare for the biggest concert of the year during the fifth of May! With the stately Royal Carré Theatre in the background, you are in for an evening full of music. Mind you: even the King and Queen will attend this! The music varies from pop to jazz to classical styles, so no excuse to not go. It starts at 21:00!
If you’re in for a real party, not just for listening but also for a lot of dancing, attend one of the many festivals in Amsterdam! Vrijland Festival celebrates our liberation by hosting seven (!) stages full of house, techno and ‘bass ‘n beats’. Hosted by Amsterdam Roest and Cartel, this is going to be your party of the year. You can buy your ‘paradise bird’-tickets here. But, quick! This sells out faaaast.
Another great one. Het Vrije Westen in the Wester park, is a festival with activities for younger and older visitors. It’s full of fun the whole day (until 23:00), so you don’t need to stress! Are you going for a day full of hip hop? Techno? Popmusic? Concerts? ‘Freedom lectures’? Fresku, a popular Dutch rapper, is going to teach us all about Franklin D. Roosevelts ‘Four Freedoms’: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear and Freedom from Want. In his own way, of course. This festival is free, but it might be wise to apply for entry beforehand.
A few of the most popular nightlife organizations join forces for a day: Club NYX, Vunzige Deuntjes (‘Dirty Sounds) and Chicago Social Club, to name a few. Thanks to this ‘alliance’ we get to dance the night away like there is no tomorrow. Fun fact: While we were silent for two minutes yesterday, we will make as much noise as we can at 20:00 sharp today. The festival will stop its music for two minutes and join you in the chaos to celebrate Liberation day!
Get your tickets for Het Amsterdams Verbond here.
We hope you have an awesome two days in Amsterdam. Feel free to ask us as many questions as you want here. Also, if you don’t want to carry your heavy backpacks around all day, you can drop them here!