King’s Day, Koningsdag in Dutch, is when the Dutch celebrate King Willem Alexander’s birthday. And since there aren’t many public holidays available to the Dutch people to celebrate, and especially not in the “warmer” months, this one is a firm favourite. Below are some tips to help you celebrate the King’s Day festival like a local.
Grab Your Orange
It might be confusing when the Dutch flag is red, white, and blue, but orange is the colour you are going to need to celebrate King’s Day like a local. Why? Orange is the colour of the Dutch Royal Family, which hails from the House of Orange. And on King’s Day that is the colour of choice.
Have the Correct Date
King’s Day is celebrated on April 27th. In the past, King’s Day was Queen’s Day and, therefore, was celebrated on a different day. Confused? To be fair, it is a little confusing. Maybe this will help. The tradition was originally called Princess’ Day and celebrated on August 31st, the birthdate of the then Princess, Wilhelmina. When Wilhelmina became Queen, the name was changed to Queen’s Day, but the date remained the same. Both Wilhelmina’s daughter, Juliana, and granddaughter Beatrix continued the Queen’s Day tradition, albeit on a different day, April 30th. The important thing now, is to remember April 27th is the day you are after. Sadly, each year a handful of tourists, dressed all in orange, still show up on the wrong day.
Gather Your Old Stuff or Your Wallet
King’s Day is the only time of year when you are allowed to sell on the street without a permit, making this the perfect day to either offload some stuff you have been accumulating or to go out and find some new treasures. And if you are a bit hungry from all that buying and/or selling, the good news is that there are often plenty of food stands ready to serve you something tasty. Click here for a complete list of activities in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven!
Party Like It’s Your Birthday
Several cities will begin the festivities the night before during King’s Night but come King’s Day there will be plenty of DJs playing, live music spilling out onto cafe patios, and dancing. Don’t forget to pay a visit to Amsterdam’s Dam Square, Haarlem’s Grote Markt, Schiehaven harbour in Rotterdam and around Lange Voorhout in The Hague. Each will have its own funfair set up for you to enjoy.