On April 27th, 2016, the entire country will celebrate Kings Day. This is a public holiday, and most people do not have to work and many essential services have limited hours. The holiday is to celebrate the King’s birthday. Formerly, this holiday was celebrated as Queen’s Day, on the Queen’s birthday. This celebration is known to be one of the largest, most colourful festivals that takes place country wide.
Everyone wears lots of orange, the country’s national color, and adorns flags, and assorted memorabilia. A KoningsDag (Kings Day translated in Dutch) tradition is to buy second hand items in each city’s parks or city centre. In Breda, Valkenberg Park will be full of bartering and great finds throughout the day. Many, many, music festivals and large scale events take place throughout the entire country.
The royal celebrations were first held on August 31st, 1885 in honour of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina, and the Queen’s Day tradition was born. After Wilhelmina’s daughter (Juliana) succeeded to the throne in 1949, the day was changed to 30 April in accordance with the new Queen’s birthday. When she became queen, the now Princess Beatrix chose to retain the day in honour of her mother but as of 2014, King’s Day is officially celebrated on April 27th (the King’s birthday). Every year, the royal entourage visits a town or municipality in the Netherlands as part of the celebrations. In 2016, they will visit Zwolle, in the province Overijssel. Often, in cities with water features, there is a gridlock of boats on the canals as many people take to their boats or tours to have a few drinks on the water.
Originally, I was planning to attend the Kings Land festival in Amsterdam, though I decided to get a ticket (for only 20 euros!) with my friends to the 538 celebration in Breda. It will be a huge one day festival with sets from famous Breda artists, like Hardwell and Tiesto, as well as Armin Van Burren, Martin Garrix, Jessi Glynne, and Miss Montreal. I am beyond thrilled as I am planning to attend three music festivals this summer, and all of these big name artists will also be playing there. AND THIS TICKET WAS ONLY TWENTY EUROS. TWENTY EUROS, PEOPLE.
So, in advance, Fijne Konings Dag!