There’s a big chance that you – as a Flemish student – know already a lot about The Netherlands. We’re neighbours, speak the same language, learn quite a lot about each others history and both celebrate Sinterklaas.
But today I’m going to tell you about a tradition that almost defines the Dutch culture. And without a doubt I can say that it’s one of the best days to be in The Netherlands. You might’ve already guessed it: today I’ll talk about Kings day.
Kings day, or like we call it in Dutch Koningsdag, is national holiday in The Netherlands where we honour the king. Since 2014 we have a king, Willem-Alexander, and that’s why we call it Kings day. Up until 2013, when Queen Beatrix abdicated and was succeeded by her son Willem-Alexander, this holiday was known as Queensday (Koninginnedag).
Kings day is celebrated on the birthday of Willem-Alexander, the 27th of April. Not every Kings day or Queens day was celebrated on the actual birthday of the King or Queen. Till 1891 the holiday was celebrated on August 31th. When Queen Juliana ascended to the throne the holiday was celebrated on April 30th.
Why Kingsway is the best party of the year
Okay, and now I’m going to tell you about the actual fun part of Kings day. I can almost hear you say: ‘What is so fun about Kings day?’ I’ll give you six reasons why you should definitely experience this holiday at least once.
- During Kingsday all the schools are closed, also most of the companies give their employees a day off.
- A lot of activities are organized during this holiday. You can visit many concerts, festivals and parties all over the country. A lot of these activities are free. Most of these concerts and festivals are organized in Amsterdam.
- For the students Among us: almost everyone above 18 is drunk and it’s legal to be drunk in public. YAY!
- The flea market (vrijmarkt) is one of the most popular activities on this day. You’ll find one in every city and village; the flea market in Amsterdam is the most popular one.
- Because Dutchies love to party, we start celebrating Kingsday at the night before with a night flea market, parties and festivals.
- Everyone is dressed in Orange, this is the national colour.
Let’s be honest, after reading these facts you just can’t wait any longer to visit The Netherlands during Kings day. Want to get more in the mood? Watch the video below.
See you on April 27th!