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  • Martina Lucic

Easter in The Netherlands

Spring is in the air! We’re celebrating Easter this weekend in the Netherlands. It’s always celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring, this year it's on April 4th. Much to many expats’ surprise, the Friday before this Easter weekend is a normal work day, except for a few companies who give their employees a day off. Monday April 5th, the 2nd day of Easter is a national holiday, so then we do have a day off. But what do we­ typically do on Easter?


Easter is always celebrated with family on Sunday. There’s an Easter breakfast or brunch, including the traditional paasbrood, a sweet bread with raisins in it, there's eggs of course, croissants and other typical Dutch delicacies. There are many options now to order an Easter menu, which is something new I’d say, maybe it’s the specific time we live in, or maybe it’s because I own a house since 2020, so I never really noticed before. But all I can say it that at my family home, my mom always makes everything herself. We also have colored eggs that we paint ourselves in the week leading up to this weekend.


A few weeks before Easter starts, you’ll see Easter decorations in the windowsills when you walk through the streets. It’s usually a vase filled with branches, and on those branches, we hang small plastic Easter eggs. Maybe we add some ribbons, too. You can hang whatever you like. The colors usually used for these decorations are soft yellow, blue and pink and the lighter pastel colors. You can also find something like this on the coffee table or dinner table when you visit a Dutch family.

Egg hunting

When you have small children, the parents hide some Easter eggs in the garden, usually chocolate ones, and say to the children that the Easter bunny, de Paashaas, has arrived and hid all the eggs in the garden. So the children begin their quest. We actually don’t call him “bunny” in Dutch, which would be konijn, but we call him haas, which translates to hare. Maybe it’s because it rhymes better with the word Easter, Pasen.

Other activities

Usually there are also Easter markets, music festivals and concerts organized around this time a year, but we all know this year is going to be different.

Nonetheless, I hope you will enjoy your time spent with your close relatives or friends upcoming weekend. Enjoy the good weather and food, go out for a walk and make sure to learn these useful words for Easter:

Pasen – Easter

De Paashaas – Easter bunny

Eieren – eggs

Chocolade eieren – chocolate eggs

Paasbrood – Easter bread

Versieringen – decorations

Lekker – tasty

Schilderen / verven – to paint

Zoeken – to search

Wandelen – go for a walk

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