King’s Day, or Koningsdag in Dutch, is an annual national holiday celebrated in the Netherlands and other parts of the Dutch Kingdom, including Aruba. It is celebrated on April 27th, in honor of the reigning monarch’s birthday. King’s Day was previously known as Queen’s Day until 2013 when the then-Queen Beatrix abdicated in favor of her son, Willem-Alexander.

Orange Pride

One of the most remarkable features of King’s Day is the vibrant sea of orange that blankets the streets. Orange is the national color of the Netherlands and symbolizes pride in their Dutch heritage. The tradition dates back to the 17th century when the House of Orange-Nassau became the ruling family. On King’s Day, people wear orange clothing, wigs, and accessories to express their national pride.

Another fascinating aspect of King’s Day is the “free market” or “vrijmarkt,” where people sell their second-hand goods on the streets. This unique tradition dates back to the 19th century when it was known as “junk day,” and people sold their items to raise money for charity. Today, people of all ages participate in the “free market” to sell their items and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Hup Hup Holland

The Dutch royal family takes part in the King’s Day celebrations, attending events and meeting with the public. They often wear orange clothing and participate in traditional Dutch activities, such as playing street games and visiting local markets. This is a chance for the Dutch people to interact with their royal family and honor their monarch.

King’s Day is not just celebrated in the Netherlands, but also in other parts of the Dutch Kingdom, including Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten. The celebrations are similar, with parades, music, and traditional food, but each island puts its unique spin on the festivities.

How are you celebrating Koningsdag today?


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