Eurail Planner / May 23, 2018
5 national holidays to look out for on your trip around Europe
Europe has a huge variety of amazing national holidays to dive into to really make the most of your time on your Eurotrip, connecting with authentic sides of the culture and history of some of the most enchanting European nations. Are you ready to discover what dates to mark your calendar for? Let’s get started!
But, why attend a national holiday during your European rail adventure? A national holiday is a great moment to really jump into the traditions and the most authentic and typical part of a culture. You will get special unique glimpses of the historical background and you’ll see places from a new perspective made up of celebrations and connections with the locals and their culture. How beautiful is that?
St Patrick's Day, Ireland
On March 17th each year, St. Patrick’s day is celebrated, the patron saint of Ireland. Nowadays, it’s celebrated worldwide, but Dublin remains the core of the celebrations. The Irish don green – Ireland’s national colour – and the city transforms into a carnival with parades through the streets and Guinness being consumed everywhere!
Bastille Day, France
Every year on July 14th, the whole of France vibrates to the sound of the Marseillaise notes and celebrates the memory of the Bastille in Paris, the event that launched the famous French Revolution on July 14th 1789, marking the end of the absolute monarchy in country. Each year, official rites and popular feasts are raging throughout the French territory. But the most important and powerful celebrations are held in Paris, which is literally invaded by tourists and curious people who come from all over the world to attend the great festivities.
Republic Day, Italy
The Republic Day (or Festa della Repubblica), as the name suggests, was created to commemorate the 1946 referendum in which Italians were called to choose between the Monarchy and the Republic. On that day, the President of the Republic places a wreath of flowers on the Unknown Soldier, at the Altar of the Fatherland of Rome. Rome plays host to parades of the police along the Fori Imperiali, which are attended by many police forces from around the country.
King’s Day, Netherlands
On King's Day, the Dutch celebrate the birthday of their head of state. King Wilhelm Alexander celebrates his birthday on April 27th, a day full of festivities. The parks and streets are then occupied by free markets, where many people sell their old things, offer musical performances or other forms of entertainment. Head to Amsterdam for the craziest celebrations, where everyone wears orange and the canals are invaded by boats!
St John’s Day, Scandinavia
Much of Scandinavia and some of the Baltic States celebrate the arrival of summer with great celebrations focused on nature and pagan ritual such as dancing around the fire, creating beautiful flower necklaces to wear and so much more. It’s the perfect chance to celebrate summer, nature and have some fun!