King’s Day – 5 facts about the Dutch tradition

On 27 April, all of Holland is a party! From the biggest cities down to the smallest hamlets, the entire country celebrates King’s Day, known as Koningsdag. There are street markets everywhere, where people sell all kinds of miscellany and (home-made) treats. Bands are playing on every street corner, people are dancing in their orange outfits. Tradition dictates that the Royal family visits one or two municipalities in Holland on this day, so with some luck, you might see them yourself!

As we are the Dutch company, at Daxx we also celebrate King’s Day!  Here are 5 facts you should know about this holiday.

King’s Day: What’s in a name

King’s Day is the time of year the Dutch people celebrate the king’s birthday. It’s a bit of an adjustment for everyone since it used to be called Queen’s Day for decades up until five years ago when King Willem Alexanders were crowned.

Orange

The Dutch royal family bears the name: House of Oranje. This literally means the orange color. As a result, it has become Holland’s national color. On the celebration, people wear orange clothes, often even donning orange wigs, make-up or any orange parts of the costume. And so plenty brands use this to their advantage to show their patriotic love: beats headphones, grills, barbies, and more. All are tapping into Dutch sense of belonging to then exploit it to the full.

King's Day celebration

Flea markets

On King’s Day, people are allowed to sell things on the street without requiring a permit. Flea (‘free’) markets are held in parks and streets, with many people offering their unwanted possessions, music or other entertainment for sale. In Utrecht, the flea markets even start the night before.

King's Day celebration

The party actually begins the day before, on King’s Night

If you can’t wait until the Day itself, then why not start the party the night before? King’s Night (Koningsnacht) is King’s Day eve, when Amsterdam’s best clubs, bars, and pubs welcome everyone to special King’s Night parties and events. Some people carry on the party all the way through until the next day, while some pop home for a few hours’ sleep ahead of the main event. Either way, the Night in Amsterdam is a great way to get in the oranje spirit – just make sure you save some energy for the day itself.

King's Day celebration

King’s Day Checklist

  • Put on your best orange outfit.
  • Visit one of the many free markets.
  • Toast to the king with an Oranjebitter.
  • Have lots of fun!

At Daxx, we keep the Dutch traditions and also celebrate this day. All our colleagues dress in orange this day and the celebration starts. Photos with the King, competition of crowns, lots of tasty treats and of course fun!

Photos: Expatica, Iamsterdam

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