Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) 2023: Liberation Day, also known as ‘Bevrijdingsdag’ in Dutch, is on May 5, and we are preparing to commemorate peace and safety! Liberation Day, commemorating the end of the Nazi occupation following the Second World War, is commemorated with great pomp and circumstance throughout the Netherlands with events, veteran parades and music festivals.
HISTORY OF LIBERATION DAY (BEVRIJDINGSDAG)
The Second World War started in 1939 and ended in 1945. The Dutch foreign policy in 1940 consisted of neutrality, as it had for a century. In the past, the nation’s policy was to avoid international conflicts until it was assaulted, a tactic that proved successful. When Nazi Germany invaded the country, however, the course of World War II was altered.
The invasion of the Netherlands by German forces may seem puzzling. In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland, prompting Britain and France to declare war on Germany. This event marked the commencement of World War II, which would have devastating consequences and destroy lives, property, and land over the next six years. The occupation of the Netherlands was a component of a greater whole. Adolf Hitler intended to conquer France by going through the Netherlands and Belgium to circumvent the French defence line on the eastern frontier. In addition, by occupying the Netherlands, Hitler could prevent England from establishing a military base there.
In 1945, after several years of occupation, American, Canadian, British, and Polish troops entered the Netherlands from the east and successfully liberated the eastern and northern provinces. General Charles Foulkes of the Canadian forces and the German general Johannes Blaskowitz struck an agreement on May 5 for the surrender of the German forces at Hotel de Wereld in Wageningen. However, some German soldiers remained on Dutch soil until May 8, even after the surrender.
In any case, this is how Liberation Day originated and why it is commemorated on May 5, the date of the German capitulation. It is fascinating to note that Liberation Day has only been celebrated annually since 1990; prior to that, it was celebrated every five years.
HOW TO CELEBRATE LIBERATION DAY
Read up on the history of the Netherlands.
Liberation Day is typically honoured with great fervour, but if you are not in the country, you can still celebrate by studying Dutch history and immersing yourself in it.
Explore online activities
Since we live in a digital age, it is simple to locate online events that will be held to commemorate this day.
Host a celebration with a Dutch theme
Even if you are unable to celebrate in the Netherlands, you can still throw a party with your companions. Gather together, prepare some delicious cuisine, compile a playlist, and appreciate the benefits of living in a free society.
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Five unexpected facts about the Netherlands
Holland and the Netherlands are not identical.
The Netherlands and Holland are frequently used interchangeably, despite the fact that the former consists of 12 provinces and the latter of only two.
population of immigrants
One-fifth of the Dutch population is foreign-born, and more than half of the country’s immigrants are from non-Western countries.
There is only one official language in the Netherlands, and that is Dutch.
Not native to the Netherlands are tulips.
In the 16th century, they were imported from Turkey, and when the price of tulip bulbs increased, farmers began cultivating them themselves.
Sixth greatest nation on earth
2020’s World Happiness Report ranks the Netherlands as the sixth happiest nation on the planet.
WHY THIS DAY IS IMPORTANT
It demonstrates the significance of liberty.
Liberation Day teaches us how to appreciate the privilege of living in a liberated nation, as not everyone in the world has the same opportunity.
It promotes Dutch culture
The entire country celebrates Liberation Day with performances, parades, music festivals, etc. This provides a gathering place for people to commemorate Dutch culture by commemorating their liberation from Nazi occupation.
It honours the liberating forces of the Netherlands
This day commemorates and honours the efforts of the Canadian, British, and Polish armies that liberated the Netherlands.
LIBERATION DAY (BEVRIJDINGSDAG) DATES