King’s Day is a Dutch national holiday commemorating the birth of King Willem-Alexander on April 27. On this Day, the whole Netherlands will have a day off and celebrate in the streets with parties, festivals, and flea markets! With 2022 marking the 137th anniversary of the royal birth, we bring you cool facts about this biggest Dutch holiday!
Facts 1: You will see orange everywhere on Dutch King’s Day
The kings’ full name is Willem-Alexander Orange-Nassau, so in celebration of his birthday and paying tribute to the royal family, everyone wears the best orange outfits. The Netherlands has almost turned into a literal sea of tangerines. Not only people but also cities are decorated with orange color.
Facts 2: Did you know the celebration started the night before?
For partygoers, the festival actually kicks off on April 26, known as King’s Night (Koningsnacht). Late-night clubs, festivals, bars, discos, and cafes come alive on the eve of King’s Day. So you can see if you can go through the night and into the next day or if you’ll have to take a quick nap to continue enjoying King’s Day.
Facts 3: It used to be called Queen’s Day and Princess’s Day.
On August 31, 1885, it was called Princess Day to celebrate Princess Wilhelmina’s birthday. Then, through many transformations, she became Queen’s Day when she ascended the throne in 1890.
The next holiday is April 30 in honor of Queen Juliana. And finally, set on April 27, when Willem-Alexander became king in 2013, is known as King’s Day.
Facts 4: The canals are full of boat parties on Dutch King’s Day
There are over 165 canals in Amsterdam alone, and boat parties will celebrate most throughout the Day. If you’d rather watch the world go by, head to one of Amsterdam’s 1,500 bridges, where you can fully experience the joys of King’s Day
Facts 5: It brought a lot of people into the country.
Amsterdam’s population doubles on this Day, with more than 250,000 people arriving in the capital by train alone. Every street, boat, canal, festival, and the market has people dancing, singing, and discovering.
Facts 6: Simultaneous parties all over the Netherlands on King’s Day
From street parties to large-scale festivals and events, there are hundreds of places to dance, sing and celebrate in the Netherlands on this fun day.
Facts 7: There’s so much to do on Dutch King’s Day
If you don’t like partying? Do not worry. Because on this Day, Amsterdam (and many other cities) turns into huge flea markets with hundreds of souvenirs and sweets to enjoy. You will indeed find exciting things to buy at bargain prices.
Facts 8: Not all places are closed on King’s Day
If you want a quick escape from the festivities to get together, you’ll be happy to know that not everywhere is closed on King’s Day. Most museums continue to stay open during this time, allowing the growing population to come and experience the country’s history, including the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank’s House, the Stedelijk Museum (art and modern design), Rijksmuseum (art and history) …