Maybe you already noticed on King’s Day: the Erasmus Bridge has brand new energy-efficient coloured lights! Now it can assume any colour that fits the occasion – orange on King’s Day, and red, white, and blue for Liberation Day, the colours of our nation’s flag.
Are you an international student and that's never experienced Liberation Day? Here are a few things you need to know!
- On 5th May the Dutch celebrate the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II. On this day in 1945, a Canadian general reached an agreement with Germany on the capitulation of the German forces. Yes, a Canadian: the Netherlands was liberated by (among others) the First Canadian Army.
- A day before, on the 4th, we commemorate those who died in World War II and in wars or peacekeeping missions that followed. At 8pm, we hold a two-minute silence out of respect for all those victims. A lot of people will fly the Dutch flag at half-mast.
- And then, a day later, it’s time to celebrate the freedom we now enjoy. And we do it by partying. A lot of big cities throw Liberation Festivals, with music, activities, food and drinks, and Dutch flags blowing in the wind. In Rotterdam, the party will be at the Park underneath the Euromast.
And you might already know...
- ... that Rotterdam was bombed by the German Air Force on 14 May 1940. Almost the entire historic city centre was destroyed; about 900 people were killed and 85,000 people became homeless.
On 5th May, the Erasmus Bridge will become red, white, and blue about 15 minutes before sunset.
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