14 April 2022, by Kirtika van Hunen

As you must have noticed, the stores are full of chocolate eggs and bunnies in all sizes and colours. This can only mean one thing: Easter is just round the corner!

Easter in the NetherlandsThe Netherlands used to be a predominantly Christian country. While a recent survey from the government’s socio-cultural think-tank, SCP, found that half the population is agnostic (argue that it’s impossible for humans to know if God exists) or atheist (deny the existence of a God), the country still celebrates official Christian holidays like Easter.

A social eventAlthough some people are aware of the religious significance and celebration of Easter, I have the feeling that it has become more of a “social event” here in the Netherlands. A time where family and friends are invited to Easter brunch or lunch and children have fun finding hidden Easter eggs and then painting them (and eventually eating them, of course). Not to forget, the consumption of chocolate eggs and chickens without the fear of bird flu!

Boosting the economyEaster in the Netherlands is an “economy-boosting” event for the manufacturers of chocolate and the shops that sell them, as well as a time when animal rights group would be proud of you for consuming chocolate chickens and bunnies instead of the real deal!

Going to Ikea on Easter Monday?Easter is celebrated on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday; however, you may notice that some shops, usually furniture and home decor shops, are open on the second day of Easter. In the Netherlands, some jokingly call this the “home decor marketing day”.

St. Matthew PassionWant something else to do at Easter, besides eating chocolate or going to home decor shops? If you like classical music, you can always attend a St Matthew Passion Bach concert, which is usually played in many churches and theatres in different cities in the Netherlands during this time. 

Whether you are a believer or not, I do hope you have a great Easter weekend!

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