KINGSDAY IN THE NETHERLANDS
Kingsday in the Netherlands is a national holiday that is celebrated on the 27th of April. It is a day that is highly anticipated by both locals and tourists as it is a time when the Dutch celebrate their culture, traditions and of course, their King’s birthday. Kingsday, also known as Koningsdag in Dutch, is a day when the entire country comes together to celebrate with street parties, music festivals, parades, and various other events. The holiday is a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the Dutch culture, meet new people and join in the festivities.
HISTORY OF KINGSDAY
Kingsday has a long and interesting history. The holiday started as Princess’s Day in 1885 to celebrate the birth of Princess Wilhelmina. Later, when she became Queen in 1890, the day became Queen’s Day and was celebrated on August 31st. Queen’s Day was a national holiday that was highly anticipated by the Dutch people, who took the opportunity to show their national pride by dressing in orange, the national color of the Netherlands.
After Queen Juliana ascended the throne in 1949, she continued the tradition of celebrating Queen’s Day on her mother’s birthday, August 31st. However, when Queen Beatrix took the throne in 1980, she changed the date of Queen’s Day to April 30th, her own birthday. This was also the birthday of her mother, Queen Juliana, and it became a symbolic day to commemorate the former Queen’s reign.
When King Willem-Alexander ascended to the throne in 2013, the holiday was renamed Kingsday in his honor and the date was moved back to April 27th, which is the King’s birthday.
CELEBRATING KINGSDAY IN THE NETHERLANDS
Kingsday is celebrated throughout the Netherlands with various events, such as flea markets, fairs, music festivals and street parties. The most famous and traditional event of Kingsday is the “Vrijmarkt,” which is a giant flea market where people can sell their used items without a permit. Vrijmarkt means “free market” in Dutch, and it is a perfect opportunity to sell items that are no longer needed, as well as a great way to find unique treasures.
Another popular tradition during Kingsday is to dress up in orange clothing and accessories, which is the national color of the Netherlands. People of all ages wear orange hats, shirts, and pants, and even dye their hair orange. It is a fun way to show national pride and to celebrate the King’s birthday.
In addition to the Vrijmarkt and the orange craze, there are also many other events held throughout the country. These include boat parades, street performances, live music, carnival rides and children’s activities.
One of the highlights of Kingsday is the presence of the Dutch royal ramily. The king and queen and their family often travel to different parts of the country to take part in the festivities, and they participate in various events such as parades, boat tours, and performances. It is a rare opportunity for the public to meet the royal family and to celebrate with them.
Kingsday in the Netherlands is a festive and colorful celebration that brings together the whole country. It is a time to celebrate Dutch culture, traditions and national pride.
With the Vrijmarkt, orange craze, and various events, there is something for everyone to enjoy on this special day. Kingsday is a unique holiday that is a must-see for anyone visiting the Netherlands. So, if you are planning to visit the Netherlands, make sure you book your trip during Kingsday and experience the vibrant and joyful atmosphere of this wonderful holiday.
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