King’s Day in the Netherlands

Held on 27 April, King’s Day is one of the biggest and most colorful festivities in the Netherlands. It celebrates the birthday of King Willem-Alexander and in the Netherlands is known as Koningsdag. It has been in existence since 2014 when the king ascended the throne from his mother – Queen Beatrix. 2019 will be the 6th successive year on the throne for him.

Each holiday the royals visit a certain part of the Netherlands. The chosen city hosts a day full of festivities and flea markets and every person wears orange.

Here are some fun facts about Koningsdag:

1.The first holiday took place in 1885 as Prinsessedag or Princess’s Day – the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, then heir to the Dutch throne. When she was coronated as Queen of the Netherlands in 1891 the holiday acquired the name Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day.  So the day changed dates with the new ruler’s birthday.

2.The holiday changed its name with the coronation of King Willem-Alexander. Previously known only as Queen’s day (30 April), in 2014 we celebrated King’s day for the first time ever. The king is the first male monarch of the Netherland in 123 years.

3.Everyone wears orange. It is worn on the holiday as a show of pride for the Dutch royal family – the House of Orange-Nassau.

4.If the King’s birthday falls on a Sunday, as it did in 2014 and it will in 2020, then the King’s Day celebrations take place a day earlier, on Saturday.

5.The flea markets known as vrijmarkt gives the permit to many people to sell goods without permit and payment of taxes.

6.Koningsdag is also celebrated in Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten, constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


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