Skip to content

The First Dutch King’s Day!

DCF 1.0

This year, 2014, today is for the first time, the Netherlands celebrates its first King’s Day (in Dutch: Koningsdag). The previous celebration used to be called as Queen’s day (in Dutch: Koninginnedag) which was annually celebrated on 31 August 1885 to honor the birth of Dutch Queen Wilhelmina. The date then changed to 30 April in accordance to the birthday of her daughter, Juliana as she succeeded the throne in 1949.

The next throne, Queen Beatrix, who is the daughter of Queen Juliana, decided to keep her mother’s birthday, 30 April as the Queen’s day celebration day to honor her. Queen Beatrix was very wise in deciding this as her mother played the important role who inspired her people during the World War Two. Many of Dutch people pay lots of respects towards her mother. Since 30 April 2013, Queen Beatrix’s son, King Willem-Alexander, took over her throne and the Queen’s day is now changed to King’s day to celebrate his birthday (which is actually on 27 April, but only this year that the celebration is moved to Saturday 26 April – ah yey, it is bit confusing).

DSC_0014 wordpress

During this day, many Dutch (with their children) are allowed to sell their secondhand items on the streets or often called in Dutch as Vrijmarkt. Previously the Vrijmarkt aimed Dutch citizens to sell their items during the Queen’s day without being taxed. Nowadays the day also marked with orange fever – when majority Dutch wear orange clothes and customs and partying on the streets. In canal cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht, the Dutch usually took their boats and cruising around the canals just for fun.

Dante, my dog, is in his “football” t-shirt

The best city for this celebration is Amsterdam. It is just madness there – all you can see is orange, orange, orange, orange 🙂 The Hague is also quite hectic but not as crazy as Amsterdam. Meanwhile, in Rotterdam is bit relax in celebrating the day, somehow the orange fever in Rotterdam is greater during the World Football Cup or Euro football cup. Anyway, this year I spent the first King’s day in Rotterdam with orange crowds but at least it is not driving me crazy.

PS: in some cities, tourist attractions such as museums, and shopping centers are closed during this event.


  1. Indah, there is so much in this photo I could look at it for a long time and still find more. I love the orange theme and I love how these women all flow together as one. Love, Amy

      • Well, it’s raining, so that means I get a break in the gardens. I just might try to go for a massage today. Ahhhh….oh does that sound good to me!!! Love, Amy

    • Thank you! Luckily most previous Queen’s days I experienced were sunny and warm (17 to 20 degree). And yesterday was warm too, around 18 degree with sunshine, bit windy but it did not stop the festive 🙂

  2. Very interesting quirk of Dutch culture, thank you Indah. I have been once to Amsterdam and hope to go back, I really like it there a lot.

    • Thank you Jet! I am glad you find it informative. Yes, please do visit Amsterdam again, perhaps during the King’s day then you will feel different atmosphere of Amsterdam 🙂

  3. I’ve been to several Queen’s Days in Amsterdam. Quite a phenomena, but ohhh the cleanup for several days after. Talkin’ some trash!!

    • Oh my, I can imagine the trash all over the place..That’s something I dislike about public events in open air, some people just keeping their bad habits..

%d bloggers like this: