King’s Day – 5 Facts about This Bright Dutch Tradition

On April 27th, all the Netherlands is a party! From the biggest cities 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 the Netherlands 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 THE 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-Alexander was crowned.

ORANGE

The Dutch royal family bears the name: House of Oranje. This literally means the orange color. As a result, it has become a Dutch national color. During 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 the Dutch sense of belonging to then exploit it to the full.

King’s Day in the Netherlands - orange color
Photo credit: www.expatica.com

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 in the Netherlands - flea markets
Photo credit: www.expatica.com

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 local 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 King’s Night is a great way to get in the orange spirit – just make sure you save some energy for the day itself.

King’s Day in the Netherlands - celebration
Photo credit: www.expatica.com

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!


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