The Netherlands celebrates Liberation Day with fire and festivals

The Netherlands celebrates Liberation Day in the sunshine on Sunday, marking 68 years since Germany surrendered at the end of World War II.

The celebrations started in Wageningen around midnight where the Liberation flame was lit and torches were then taken by runners and inline skaters to other fires all over the country. The theme of this year’s event is ‘freedom, make the deal’.

Germany signed the capitulation documents in Wageningen on May 5, 1945. The south of the country had been liberated months earlier.


Later on Sunday, the university town stages its traditional military parade, featuring veterans and their vehicles, a parachute drop and gun salute.

Fourteen formal Liberation Day festivals are being staged all over the country: one in each of 12 provinces and one in The Hague and in Amsterdam.

Dutch artists Dio, Miss Montreal and Chef’Special will make a whistle stop tour of the 14 festivals by helicopter.

The celebrations end with the traditional May 5 concert on the Amstel river in Amsterdam, which is broadcast live on television.

The weather is set to be sunny everywhere, with temperatures ranging from 16 Celsius at the coast to 20 Celsius in the south.

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