2024. It always takes some getting used to the numbering of a new year. In addition to the usual holidays, there are also all kinds of special days every year. Day for the teacher, the volunteer, truck driver, informal caregiver. You can’t imagine anything so strange that there is a special day for something. For example, did you know that there is a peanut butter day on January 24?
In many countries, Constitution Day is a national holiday. In Europe, for example, in Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Spain and Norway. In Norway on May 14. Norway received its Constitution on May 14, 1814. Norwegian Constitution Day starts with extensive breakfasts in the open air. Afterwards there are parades of schoolchildren with music to the town halls. The largest parade is in Oslo. The royal family waves to the crowd from the balcony of the royal palace. It is a day off with games and costumes. Party because there is a Constitution. Information about this is provided at schools.
The Constitution is unknown in our country. Unknown makes unloved. If you were to ask about the meaning of the Constitution in a shopping street, you would probably be very quiet. Or at most you hear: “It’s good that there is a Constitution, but what it says is not very clear to me.” That is why it would be a good thing to also establish such a Constitution Day in our country. A combination with King’s Day or Liberation Day does not seem possible to me. Those days have already taken on their own meaning. Attention to the Constitution would then be of some importance.
Things that connect us
A day off according to the Norwegian model will not be possible. It should mainly concern information, in education, the press, radio and television. On such a Constitution Day, a separate theme could be discussed every year. A certain fundamental right, the function of parliament, compliance with and enforcement of laws. The cabinet formation has started with a discussion about guaranteeing the rule of law. That could also be a nice theme.
Meetings could also be held on Constitution Day with MPs from the various parties. Not about things that divide us, but about things that connect us. Local musicians can play between speeches. Still a bit Norwegian.
First Constitution of the Netherlands
Which day is most suitable for this? That could be on March 29. On March 29, 1814, the Constitution of 1814 was adopted in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, the first Constitution of our Kingdom. But another date is also possible.
While revolutions broke out everywhere in Europe in 1848, this was not the case in our country. This was mainly due to the Thorbecke Constitution, which was proclaimed on November 3, 1848. This Constitution was the start of our current parliamentary system. November 3 therefore seems to me to be the best date for such a day.
A possible Constitution Day has been discussed from time to time. Now is the time to take action. Which political party takes the initiative to establish such a day? In anticipation of this, we will again celebrate our regular celebrations and special days in 2024. And for January 24: have a good peanut butter day!
Gossen Bakker lives in Oosterwolde.