Interesting Dutch Fact #1

In the Netherlands, most people get an extra month's salary every year. It's called vakantiegeld (vacation money). From what I understand, this extra money -- meant to help folks pay for their vacations -- is an expected and normal benefit in most places of employment. Vacations are an extremely important part of people's lives here in the NL -- taking a 3 or 4 week holiday each year is not out of the ordinary. Plus, there are all of these "extra" national holidays (at least, they feel extra to me!): The day following Christmas, the Monday after Easter, Ascension Day (which this year fell on a Thursday), and the Monday after Pentecost are, for instance, holidays. No one works, and nothing is open.