In this F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) why try to answer the most common question related to Kingsday. If you are planning a visit to the Netherlands during KIngsday you will find your answers here.
FAQ 1: When is Kingsday?
The holiday takes place on the 27th April, unless this date happens to fall on a Sunday, in which case the holiday is celebrated on the 26th April
FAQ 2: What is the origin of Kingsday?
Kingsday is a national holiday in the Netherlands to celebrate the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. The holiday was originally known Princess’s Day and was to commemorate the birthday of the crown princess Wilhelmina in 1885 when, at the time, the monarchy was not popular with the people. When the princess became the Queen, the holiday was renamed Queen’s Day. At the time, it was celebrated on August 31st and was the last day of the school holidays, making it very popular with children.
FAQ 3: What and when is Queensday? How is it related?
The date of the holiday changed to the 30th April when Wilhelmina’s daughter, Juliana succeeded to the throne in 1949. When her daughter Beatrix came to the throne, she decided to leave the date the same in memory of her mother. When King Willem-Alexander came to the throne in 2013, both the name and the date of the holiday altered accordingly.
FAQ 4: What happens on Kingsday?
There are a variety of events take place around the country with Amsterdam being at the heart of things. Most of the cities have street markets where for the only time in the year, ordinary people can set up stalls on the streets and sell their second hand goods without the need for a trader’s license. Amsterdam, for example, even has a certain area where the stalls are all about children’s items such as toys and clothes and there are children acting as buskers for the day in the area.
There are also parades of decorated boats on the canals in some cities, including Amsterdam along with musical concerts and shows in the parks and the squares. The royal family normally announce just before the holiday where they will be visiting, typically two places around the country have been chosen.
FAQ 5: Should I Wear Orange?
Definitely, yes, even if you aren’t Dutch and are visiting for the event. The idea of wearing orange is connected with the family history of the Dutch royal family – also known as the House of Nassau-Orange. The colour orange has become associated with the Netherlands and has been taken up by the country’s football fans amongst others. So wearing anything orange from a tie or scarf to a full-on orange suit or dress will help you fit in!
FAQ 6: What is public transport like on Kingsday?
It is advisable to leave the car at home on Kingsday because the streets are taken up with people, stalls, and music concerts. Amsterdam, for example, has almost all of the public transport operating on the outskirts of the city but there are some restriction in the city centre for buses and trams as well as taxis and standard prices apply for these services. The restrictions are lifted late on the evening.
FAQ 7: Are the shops open?
Most of the normal shops close for Kingsday, though many small neighbourhood shops will remain open as normal and some larger supermarkets open for part of the day. If you want an alcoholic drink, most of the cities have places open to provide it though a limit is sometimes placed on the amount that can be bought. People may also carry a drink equivalent to a single unit of alcohol into the cities with them for their own consumption.
More questions and answers can be found here.