Get ready for King's Day!
Be prepared, on 27 April oranjegekte (orange madness) will take over The Netherlands! King’s Day is when the Dutch celebrate the birthday of their king. King Willem Alexander was born on 27 April and so there are many parties, flea markets and, of course, the king himself visits one or several cities with his family.
What is King’s Day all about:
Dress code orange
The Dutch royal family bears the name House of Orange. As a result it has become Holland’s national color. If you want to blend in, you will have to wear orange clothes, hats, tutus, boas and glasses and the Dutch Flag marked on you cheeks (red-white-blue)
Celebrate King’s Day Eve
King’s Day actually starts the evening before. On Koningsnacht there are several festivities and stages throughout several cities. Especially The Hague is known for celebrations this evening, also called Koningsnach.
It's the only day of the year that anyone can sell things on the street without a permit, and today, anything goes. People empty their attics and set up stalls on the street, selling anything you can imagine. Or they provide services (cakes and drinks, massage, make-up - anything they can turn their hands to). Children will also put on side-shows or have a go at busking. Utrecht is the stage of the biggest open air flea market in The Netherlands, which begins at 6pm on 26 April and runs until King's Day. Children's markets and performances typically centre around Park Lepelenburg and Miffy’s Square (Nijntje Pleintje).
Spotting the Royal Family
King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima will visit Zwolle this year. Here you will find more information on the programme: https://koningsdag.zwolle.nl/homepage-english
Enjoy King’s Day by boat
A boat on the canal is a wonderful place to enjoy the festivities. Especially the canals of Utrecht and Amsterdam are packed. All manner of watercraft pack the waterways, from wooden rowboats to standup paddleboards. Take your chances by hanging out on a canal bank and you might just get an invite onto a boat!
Oranjebitter is the drink of choice on King's Day. It's made with orange peels soaked in jenever (a type of gin) and is naturally colored a bright fluorescent orange.