King’s Day, previously known as Queen’s Day, is a national holiday within The Netherlands and is celebrated every year on 27th of April. On King’s Day The Netherlands is turning ‘oranje’ (orange) to celebrate HRH King Willem Alexander’s birthday (27th of April). Everyone is covered head to toe in ‘oranje’ (orange) as a sign of pride for the Dutch Royal family, the House of Oranje-Nassau. On King’s Day, the King and his family, visit a municipality with a central function in the region. The Royal Family will participate in the celebration, whereby the city and the surrounding places can present themselves in a festive and characteristic way. This can be done with a parade, with musical performances and with contributions from associations and organizations that are rooted in the city and region. In addition, the Royal Family meets the public along the route.
On August 31st, 1885, the first Princess Day was celebrated in The Netherlands on the occasion of the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina. This day was the precursor to Queen’s Day. In 1891 the first Queen’s Day was celebrated and on 31st of August 1902 Queen’s Day became a national celebration day. After Wilhelmina’s daughter, Juliana, succeeded to the throne in 1949, the day was changed to the 30th of April in accordance with the new Queen’s birthday. When Juliana’s daughter, Beatrix, became queen she decided to retain the day in honour of her mother. In 2014, Beatrix son Willem-Alexander became king, he changed the date to his own birthday and the national day became King’s Day.
Activities in Amsterdam
On King’s Day Amsterdam streets are filled with all-day festivals with markets, music, laughter and cheer (and Heineken beer!)
As a city built on trade, ‘Amsterdammers’ love to haggle and bargain. The Vrijmarkt (literally ‘free market’) gives everyone the chance to sell their second-hand things on the streets and parks of Amsterdam, creating one of the world’s largest flea markets.
Top 3 Festival’s in Amsterdam
- Kingsland Festival
- Loveland van Oranje
What to do this year?
King’s Day looks different this year. We are all staying at home and celebrating the King’s birthday indoors this year. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do this year. First of all, for Amsterdammers there is Vondelpark Live (vondelpark.live). You walk through the digital Vondelpark and can admire young Amsterdammers performing musical and other acts. In the evening, there is the online Koningsdagconcert by The Streamers. You can order a free ticket via thelivestreamers.nl.
Moreover, the ‘vrijmarkt’ will be held online. There are several sites where you can simply lay down your digital rug this year.
On koningsdageindhoven.nl you can compile your own ideal Koningsdag. With performances, art and culture on various digital stages. The princesses can be seen in a talk show for and by young people. You can watch the visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima to Eindhoven between 11:00 and 13:00 on NPO1 and via koningsdageindhoven.nl.