King’s Day, or so we say in Dutch “Koningsdag”, is a national holiday in the Netherlands. Consequently, we yearly celebrate King’s Day on April 27th. Definitely, this is the day to honor the King. Moreover, we celebrate Dutch Culture and National Pride. Yet, when the birthday of King Willem Alexander falls on a Sunday it is celebrated a day earlier. Thus, on April 26th.
Queen Beatrix gave birth to King Willem Alexander on April 27th in the year 1955. Since the abduction of Queen Beatrix and subsequently the coronation of King Willem we feast on April 27th all over the country. Obviously, it is the biggest National Feast of the year. Yet, when the National Dutch soccer team wins the world cup a bigger party might roll over the streets into the squares all over the country.
King’s Day, the biggest birthday party in the Netherlands
On King’s Day, the streets of many Dutch cities and towns filled with people wearing orange. Folks participate in parades, do business on street markets, and partake in various other festivities. There are concerts, street performances, and special events held throughout the country. Orange is the national color.
➔ King’s Day is celebrated in every Dutch city and village
On King’s Day, the Dutch King is on tour with the Royal Family
Each year the Royal Family visits a different city to enjoy people’s entertainment. In previous years, the Royal Family visited the cities of Dordrecht, Zwolle, Tilburg, Groningen, and Amersfoort. Unfortunately, King’s Day was not celebrated in Corona time. As a matter of fact, it is not known well in advance which city the royal family in any year is going to visit. But we do know that the Amsterdam Cafe “De Blaffende Vis”(The Barking Fish) will surprise us with a display on the facade of their cafe in the city quarter “Jordaan”.
Orange, the national color of the Netherlands
Everyone dresses up in orange and is having a grand party. Always, the total country feasts with music, fairs, flea markets, and parties in squares, streets, and parks. Obviously, the dress code is orange. Put on something orange and join the party.
Traditional Free market on King’s Day
Definitely, the most popular tradition on King’s Day is the “vrijmarkt ” in English a “free market”. Anybody may sell almost everything. Yet the “Inspection Service of Food” remains active. And the police are present. Maintaining Law and Order can be necessary while people buy and sell second-hand items on the streets. Without the need for a permit, tax obligations, or fees. Within this format, large, bustling flea markets are major happenings throughout the country.
Overall, King’s Day is a joyous celebration of Dutch culture and national identity, and a day for people to come together and have fun.