Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dutch Tradition: Liberation Day

Liberation Day (Dutch: Bevrijdingsdag) is celebrated each year on 5 May, to mark the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II.

The nation was liberated largely by Canadian troops, with the assistance of the British and American Armies and French airborne troops. On 5 May 1945, the Canadian General Charles Foulkes and the German Commander-in-Chief Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the capitulation of German forces in the Netherlands in Hotel De Wereld in Wageningen. One day later, the capitulation document was signed in the auditorium of Wageningen University, located next-door to the hotel.

In 1990 the day was declared to be a national holiday, when the liberation would be commemorated and celebrated every year. Every five years, Liberation Day is a special celebration, meaning almost everyone has a free day. On this day, festivals are held in most places in the Netherlands.

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