Koninginnedag or Queen's Day in the Netherlands
April 30th is Koninginnedag in the Netherlands, a national holiday. On this day the entire country celebrates the Queen’s birthday.
Queen Beatrix’s birthday is actually on January 31st and April 30th is the birthday of her mother Queen Juliana. However, as the weather is warmer in April, Queen Beatrix has kept April 30th as the official date.
If you’re in the Netherlands during 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 craze” a reference to the royal family and the House of Orange.
Another interesting sight on Koninginnedag is vrijmarkt or “freemarket”. On this one day people all over the country are allowed to sell things in the streets without having to pay taxes on their sales! People may 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.
All over the Netherlands there are parties, musical performances and concerts, including Koninginnenacht (Queen’s Night) and Koninginnedans (Queen’s Dance).
So if you’re thinking of having a city break in the Netherlands and you don’t mind the crowds, April 30th is an entertaining time to be there and you never know what you’ll find at some of these car boot sales! And while you’re there, it’s a fabulous time to see the Netherlands’ famous spring gardens at the Keukenhof.