Every year on April 27th (or the 26th if the 27th falls on a Sunday) millions of people in the Netherlands celebrate the country’s national day – Kingsday. Over a million people take to the streets of Amsterdam alone. If you’re lucky enough to be there, then you’ll witness one of the craziest and busiest events to take place on the planet. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your day...
Come prepared: Why do the Dutch celebrate Kingsday?
Since you’re going to be celebrating the Netherlands’ national day, it is wise to know exactly what you’re celebrating. Kingsday was first celebrated in commemoration of the birth of Princess Wilhelmina on the 31st of August, 1885. After her abdication from Queen in 1949, the celebrations were moved to April 30th, the birthday of her daughter Queen Juliana. Her daughter Queen Beatrix celebrated her birthday on April 30th, even though her birthday is in January. Since 2013 the (new) king Willem Alexander changed the date to April 27th - this is his Birthday. The same rule applies: if the 27th is a Sunday then they move the celebration a day before: the 26th of April.
Preparations for Kingsday
While Kingsday is on April 27th, it isn’t on the night of the 27th that the biggest celebrations take place. This happens on Kingsnight (Kings’s Night), which is April 26th the night before. It’s on this night that the different stages throughout the city host DJs and bands playing to Dutchies getting ready to ensure they spend most of Kingsday with a hangover.
Wear something orange
If you dont want to stick out then get into the theme of orange. The more orange you wear the better. If you don't own anything orange: then don't worry. Orange clothes and dresses are sold everywhere. Orange hats, orange socks, orange t-shirts and orange hoodies.
Hold on to your glas!
In Amsterdam for example you buy your beers from stalls and stands and it is dispensed in disposable cups. Sometimes you have to make a small deposit for the glasss itself.
Get ready to buy yourself
April 27th is the only day of the year that Dutch are permitted to sell anything on the street. You walk around the streets and see thousands of items being sold on the streets. Some people try to get rid of any old items such as old CDs and bicycles, DVDs. And 1 euro coins can get you very far.