Celebrate King’s day like a real Dutch

Celebrate King’s day like a real Dutch

Dutch people love partying and the best parties in the Netherlands is no other than the King’s Day. The King’s day is celebrated every April 27 to honor the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. Before 2014, this day was known as Queen’s Day and was celebrated during April 30. It was the time that Queen Beatrix was still the head of the royal family in the Netherlands, before being taken over by her son King Willem-Alexander. In some cities, the King’s day celebration is the biggest and the most colorful festivity, especially in Amsterdam. If it is your first time in the Netherlands or been living here but haven’t celebrated King’s day, then these are things you should know to celebrate like the locals do.

What do we need to know about King’s Day in the Netherlands?

1. King’s Day is a national holiday in the Netherlands.

King’s Day is an official holiday in the Netherlands. This gives time for people to take a time off from there work, and give them the chance to celebrate. This day is not only a day to celebrate the monarchy, but also to experience many great Dutch cultures such as freebies, games, coziness, sharing culture and diversity, and be easy going for a day. So come to your closes center and you will simply enjoy all the prepared festivities.

Spending cozy time with family during King’s day 2019.
Celebrating King’s Day 2023.

2. There are parties in cities and towns.

Since King’s day is a celebration, there are music and festivals organized by the municipal and city halls. There are some bands, music, children activities, and sports that are organized to make the celebration more inclusive for both young and old people. These things are often and for free, and sometimes you get reward for participating in events (especially for children).

Free children parties during King’s day in April 2023.
Celebrating King’s day in a bar-restaurant with the locals.

3. King’s Day is a good time to buy second hand items.

King’s day is perhaps one of the best time of the year to buy second items, often at a little price, and sometimes even for free! During King’s Day, people are selling second hand item (often good quality ones) not to earn but in good will and in the spirit of the King. Some people selling items during King’s day bring the proceeds for social initiatives, such as helping people from developing countries or those that are victims of wars. By buying second hand item, you are not only getting value for your money, but are also helping other people as well the environment. Using second hand items is a good way to reuse and recycle things instead of them ending in the landfills.

Buying second hand items in the flea market during King’s Day.

4. The whole Netherlands turns orange.

King’s day is one of the special day in a year (aside from football matches) that turns the Netherlands into color orange. You can see orange flags on the windows as well as orange decorations surrounding many houses. People are also wearing orange t-shirts and dresses on this day. But what’s with the color orange in the Netherlands? The color orange originated from the family line of the royal family, which is the house of Orange-Nassau. Willem of Orange, who was born as Willem of Nassau-Dillenburg in 1533, inherited the Principality of Orange in the south of France when he was 11 years old. He became a sovereign monarch and bore then the name Willem of Orange-Nassau, or Willem of Orange. He was famous for leading the Dutch revolution against Spain, and when he won the Den Briel (Brielle) from Spain, the color orange was used by people as a symbol of victory. Willem of Orange is considered The Father of the Netherlands. Dutch people wear orange as a symbol of national unity and a sign of pride.

Raising the Dutch flag and orange flag during King’s day.

5. King’s day is chance to see the royal family in person.

Every year, the royal family chooses a city or town to visit during King’s Day. If they selected a location close by your place, or you simply want to visit them, then it is your chance to see the royal family in person. The royal family engages with people, listens to their stories, and even celebrates with them as a sign of humility and unity in the Netherlands.

King’s Day celebration with the royal family in Maastricht (Photo by Jos van Spanje of Unsplash).

Interested with other celebrations in the Netherlands? Check out:

1. Celebrating Carnaval in the Netherlands

2. Sinterklaas vs. Santa Claus: A comparison

3. Sinterklaas: The Dutch version of the Netherlands

4. Sint Maarten: The Dutch version of Halloween

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