News of: Saturday, May 03 2014,
On May 4, the victims of the Second World War (and all subsequent wars) are commemorated throughout the Netherlands.
May 5 is Liberation Day: on May 5 1945, the German Nazi regime capitulated, and Holland was officially liberated.
The main national ceremony for the May 4 commemoration takes place on Dam Square.
The ceremony on Dam Square starts at half past 7 and is accessible for everyone. At 7.58pm, the King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima lay a wreath at the National Monument on Dam Square.
It is normally very busy at this time on Dam Square, but there are large outdoor tv screens so that you can follow what is going on.
At 8pm there is a (nation-wide) two minutes' silence to commemorate the victims of World War II. Traditionally, this is also observed in bars and pubs, where the music stops for 2 minutes (but this is not observed everywhere), and traffic will partly come to a standstill.
After the 2 minutes' silence there are some speeches, and more wreath-layings, by many organizations.
The entire ceremony is also broadcast live on national tv.
May 5, Liberation Day
May 5 is celebrated as Liberation Day.
One of the main events of that day is the free open-air concert on the river Amstel, near the Carré Theater, a few minutes walk from the City Hall along the Amstel. This concert is the traditional end of all festivities.
The concert starts at 9pm. If you would like to attend, it is advisable to come early, to secure a good place.
There will be hundreds of boats in the river Amstel.
The King and Queen will attend the concert. They will arrive and leave by boat.
This year, on Dam Square there will be an 'Orakel', a large talking head which will reproduce any text messages sent to 2255. Begin your message with 'Orakel
All messages, will be spoken by the this work of art, without censorship of any kind. The idea is that this symbolizes 'freedom', which is celebrated on May 5.
The Orakel will be on Dam Square on May 5, from 10am to 10pm.
During the day, the main liberation festival will take place in Westerpark, where there will be various performances on a number of stages.
Freely accessible, from 11am until 11pm.
On May 4 the Dutch flag will be flown half-mast on official buildings. On May 5 the flag will be flown normally.
More information on May 4 and 5 in Amsterdam is (in Dutch) on this website.
Orakel Dam Square May 5, 2014 (atelier Van Lieshout)