KONINGSDAG OR KING’S DAY IS THE OFFICIAL BIRTHDAY OF THE KING OF NETHERLANDS:
Since 1949, the Dutch have been celebrating Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day (or Queensday) on April 30th. All that changed on April 30, 2013 when King Willem-Alexander became the first male monarch since 1890. Koninginnedag becomes Koningsdag and will be celebrated on King Willem-Alexander’s birthday which is April 27th. However since April 27th is a Sunday this year, Koningsdag will take place on April 26th.
Koningsdag National Holiday
Koningsdag is a national holiday in the Netherlands and the 2014 celebration is particularly significant as this is the first King’s birthday for over a century. On this day the entire country will celebrate the official birthday of the King of the Netherlands.
King’s Day Amsterdam
Koningsdag will be celebrated throughout the Netherlands but the big King’s Day celebrations are in Amsterdam. The partying and drinking start the night before which they call the Koningsnacht (King’s Night). All over the city there are parties, musical performances, concerts and entertainment on the canals.
Oranjegekte – Orange Madness
If you’re in Amsterdam during the Koninginnedag celebrations, you’ll see orange everywhere – orange banners, people dressed in all kinds of orange gear and accessories and even orange coloured food and drinks. It’s oranjegekte or the “orange madness” in reference to the House of Orange, which the royal family belongs to.
Vrijmarkt – Flea Market
A big feature of the Koninginnedag celebrations is the vrijmarktor “freemarket”. On this one day people all over the country are allowed to sell things in the streets without having to pay value added tax on their sales! People are allowed to set up stalls or have their goods on blankets in the parks or on sidewalks. It’s not just the car boot sales or flea market sales that are exempt from tax, commercial traders benefit from this one day of tax-free sales. Naturally, the amount of sales clocked up on this one day is huge.
The city centre is closed to cars and people are encouraged to catch public transport to the city. Whilst additional trains will be put on to get people to the Amsterdam city centre and back home after the celebrations, the services will be re-routed to distribute the station loads. For more information on how the transport will work see the amsterdamkoningsdag.nl website. It is in Dutch only but if necessary, you can print it and have your hotel concierge explain the schedules to you.
Amsterdam in April
Spring is a marvelous time to be in Amsterdam. Not only will you get to share in the colourful Koninginnedag celebrations, it is also a fabulous time to see the famous spring gardens at Keukenhof.
For more detailed information on King’s Day events, see the Koningsdag website.
Event: Koningsdag Amsterdam
Date : April 26th