ROYAL NETHERLANDS EMBASSY National Day: April 27th - King’s Day Koningsdag (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkoːnɪŋsˌdɑx] (
ROYAL NETHERLANDS EMBASSY
National Day: April 27th – King’s Day
Koningsdag (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkoːnɪŋsˌdɑx] ( listen)) or King’s Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 27 April (26 April if the 27th is a Sunday), the date marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander.
From 1949, birthday of Queen Juliana (accession to the Throne September 4th 1948) to 2013, the day was known as Koninginnedag (Dutch pronunciation: [koːnɪˈŋɪnəˌdɑx] ( listen)) or Queen’s Day celebrated April 30th. The holiday was first observed on 31 August 1885 as Prinsessedag or Princess’s Day, the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, heir to the Dutch throne. On her accession (September 6th 1898, having come of age August 31st), the holiday acquired the name Koninginnedag. When held on 30 August the holiday was the final day of school summer vacation, leading to its popularity among children. Following the accession of Wilhelmina’s daughter Juliana in 1948, the holiday was moved to Queen Juliana’s birthday on 30 April.
Juliana’s daughter, Beatrix, retained the celebration on 30 April after she ascended the throne in 1980, though her birthday was on 31 January. Beatrix altered her mother’s custom of receiving a floral parade at Soestdijk Palace, instead choosing to visit different Dutch towns each year and join in the festivities with her children. In 2009, the Queen was celebrating Queen’s Day in the city of Apeldoorn when a man attempted to attack her by trying to ram the Royal family’s bus with his car; instead he drove into a crowd of people and crashed into a monument: seven people in the crowd were killed, as was the driver.
Queen Beatrix abdicated on Koninginnedag 2013, and her son, Willem-Alexander, ascended the throne (the first king since the observance of the national holiday). As a result, the holiday became known as Koningsdag (“King’s Day”) from 2014 on, and the celebration was shifted three days back to 27 April, the king’s birthday.
Koningsdag is known for its nationwide vrijmarkt (“free market”), at which the Dutch sell their used items. It is also an opportunity for “orange madness” or oranjegekte, a kind of frenzy named for the national colour.
All Day (Monday)