National Mill Day
National Mill Day welcomes visitors to come and take a closer look at the inner workings of Dutch windmills during a day full of exciting activities!
When is National Mill Day in the Netherlands?
National Mill Day in the Netherlands takes place on May 13-14, 2023. This is an annual event that happens each year in mid-May.
About Dutch National Mill Day (Nationale Molendag)
During National Mill Day, many of the windmills (and other mills) in the Netherlands will be turning, and more than 950 of them will open up to the public.
Annually, more than 100.000 people come out to enjoy National Mill Day, and every year the number rises. The event is organised by the Dutch Mill Association (De Hollandsche Molen), an initiative that was started in 1923 to secure the upkeep of wind and water mills in the Netherlands.
VriendenLoterij Nationale Molendag 2023
This year, National Mill Day is set to be even more spectacular than ever, because 2023 marks a special anniversary for Dutch windmills! It's the 50th year that National Mill Day has been organised by De Hollandsche Molen, the Dutch association of windmills, which was set up to preserve Dutch windmills and their rich history. What's more, De Hollandsche Molen itself is celebrating 100 years in existence!
Sponsored by VriendenLoterij and officially named "VriendenLoterij Nationale Molendag 2023" this year's edition of the celebration of windmills will be attended by Princess Beatrix, who will officially open the festival on the afternoon of Friday, May 12 in Molen De Roos (The Rose Windmill).
National Mill Day activities
The event is typically accompanied by various activities, many organised by millers all around the country, such as pancake baking, children’s games, cycling routes, mill-themed fairs and parties.
Windmills participating in National Mill Day 2023
Here's an overview of the windmills participating in the 2023 edition of National Mill Day:
- Molen van Sloten
- De Zandweg
- De Herder
- De Volk Museum Molen
- De Put
- De Adriaan
- De Veer
- De Eenhoorn
- Molen van de Schortenveenpolder
- Het Fortuin
- Kyck Over Den Dyck
Zaandam / Zaanse Schans
- De Huisman
- Het Jonge Schaap
Mills in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is famous for its mills, not only due to the large numbers but also because they symbolise the Dutch battle with the sea levels. The country currently has 1.048 windmills and 108 water mills, the oldest of which dates back to before 1450.
The position of the sails, when they’re not turning, can indicate messages, such as a local celebration or mourning. They all turn anti-clockwise. There are multiple theories for why this may be.
Amsterdam is home to eight windmills, so if you're one of many internationals living in Amsterdam and hoping to enjoy National Mill Day without travelling too far away, then you're in luck! Usually, Molen van Sloten is the only Amsterdam windmill that is open to the public, but on National Mill Day, locals and visitors have two famous windmills in the Dutch capital to choose from, and many more in other Dutch cities and towns, as mentioned above.
The windmills of Amsterdam are:
- Molen van Sloten
- De Bloem
- De Goyer
- De Otter
- De 1200 Roe
- De 1100 Roe