So many tourists still come for Queensday to the Netherlands on April 30th. It is amazing. So many that the city of Amsterdam actually organized a special party for all the pity-tourists that came 3 days too late.
Three days too late? Yes, that is right: Queensday on April 30th in the Netherlands has changed to Kingsday on April 27th. And beware, if the 27th is on a Sunday, the whole spectacle of flea markets, parties, and orange costumes move to the 26th.
Actually, it is called Koningsdag, and it is a national holiday in the Netherlands. It has a long history, and all started with Princess-day on August 31st in 1885 the fifth birthday of crown princess Wilhelmina. After she ascended the throne Queensday was born.
With the reign of Queen Juliana, the National holiday moved to her birthday: April 30th, and her daughter Queen Beatrix kept it on that day although her birthday was January 31st.
Are you still with me?
After Queen Beatrix abdicated the throne in 2013, on Queensday and her son King Willem Alexander took over the day is called Kingsday and moved to his birthday: April 27th.
Kingsday is a nationwide festival. In every city, town, village, and neighborhood they organize so-called free markets (vrijmarkt, or flea market) where Dutch can sell stuff. Are you looking for vintage rubbish, visit the Netherlands on Kingsday!! Parks, streets, football fields are all converted into huge marketplaces filled with all that stuff that has been kept in the attic for years. baby clothing, shoes, cups, glasses, LP’s old DVD’s you name it, it is there and it is outdated. Nevertheless, it is fun walking around. Food and drinks are available plenty and although it can be pretty crowded sometimes, the atmosphere is good. And it is a neat way to meet the locals.
Next, to the flea markets, there are large music festivals, most of which are entrance-free. Some of which start even the night before Kingsday in the major big cities of the Netherlands. Drinking, dancing, and having fun, crowds party until the sun rises. Squares, streets, and even canals are used for parties and party ships.
The orange madness is good for the Dutch economy, people spent more when they are happy and financial bureaus predict the yearly turnover of around 200 to 300 million euros.
Every year this day is used for the `monarch to honor citizens that have done outstanding work for the community and or the country. They get a certificate and a medal from the mayor of their city, it is considered quite an honor, although some people refuse it.
Kingsday is celebrated in embassies and Dutch territories all over the world. And the embassy has different opening hours during the 26th and 27th of April. And Expat groups throw massive parties, like the one in Manilla
150 Years of Consular Relations
In 2016 the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of the Philippines will celebrate 65 years of diplomatic relations and 150 years of consular relations. The Netherlands Embassy in the Philippines will organize multiple events on the theme of innovation for sustainability. The program of events will feature a series of lectures, a film festival, an exchange of fashion professionals, and a large event around a trade mission in October.
Watch my video of my last Kingsday in the Netherlands in 2015:
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