If you want to be a part of Koningsdag or King’s Day as it is also known, then you need to visit Amsterdam. There is no real surprise that Amsterdam is the best place to go to immerse yourself into the experience. It is the beating heart of The Netherlands and King’s Day Amsterdam 2019 is shaping up to be as good as ever.
Koningsdag by Inyucho – Source: Flickr
The History of Kings Day Amsterdam
King's Day was first celebrated in 2014 after the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander in 2013. Prior to that, it was formally Queen’s Day with the first celebrations taking place on 31 August 1885 in honour of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina. However, the date of the event changed to 30th April following the Wilehelmina’s daughter taking to the throne in 1949.
The date of the event remained in place until 2014, when the date was changed to the 27th April. This was to celebrate the King’s birthday. Regardless of the name, the spirit of the festival has never been lost. Everyone clearly shows how proud they are of the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Orange-Nassau.
Royal Palace by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo – Source: Flickr
Throughout Holland, celebrations take place with Amsterdam being the heart and soul of the party. Despite the event only being one day, the real celebrations begin the day before. As King's Day is a national holiday, everyone has the day off. So, they take the chance to have as much fun as possible the evening before, which is also known as King’s Night.
Around Amsterdam, you will find people setting up stalls to sell goods and King’s day themed products. The hustle and bustle adds to the atmosphere of this wonderful event. Heading to places such as the Vrijmarkt will provide you with the opportunity to surround yourself with the vibe of this incredible celebration. Here, as many as 3,000 people will mingle in an attempt to grab bargains. But more importantly everybody experiences the joy, fun and togetherness that comes with it.
However, where the celebrations really begin are the countless number of musical performances that take place. People throughout Amsterdam will be singing “Het Wilhelmus”. This is a poem that depicts the life of William of Orange and the way in which he fought for Dutch people.
Vrijmarkt by Joop van Dijk – Source: Flickr
A True Experience
It is an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate something that really matters to them. You will find a sea of orange floating along the Amsterdam Canals and walking through the streets. Around the many well-known landmarks Anne Franke House, Van Gogh Museum and Vondelpark will be full of the colour orange. Throughout the city and around these famous landmarks and tourist spots, you will find people immersing themselves into the celebrations.
Many of the displays and performances that take place can be found to incorporate local historic events. These events are associated with Amsterdam while the Royal Family will visit a number of places on King’s Day. What makes the whole event so enjoyable is that the Royal Family also embrace the moment. They participate in games while greeting those who have turned out to see them.
The whole experience is one of pure joviality. And if you visit Amsterdam during the celebrations then you will truly realise just how special it is. You could always bring together the big day with visiting famous places such as the aforementioned Anne Franke House or Van Gogh Museum. Visiting these landmarks will really enable you to feel the history of the country. It is clearly merged as one during the festival. There is plenty of laughter and smiles. The fact that everyone can participate makes it even more prominent in terms of what it offers.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam by Christian van Elven – Source: Flickr
As the years have passed, the size of the celebrations have grown and now many concerts and special events take place in the many public spaces. There is an outdoor concert held on Amsterdam’s Mueseumplein, with as many as 800,000 people gathering there. The buzz of the celebrations can really be felt while you can celebrate with the old and the young, of which many like to enjoy themselves in the streets and squares.
Foto Roel van Deursen Koningsdag by Roel van Deursen – Source: Flickr
King’s Day is an event like no other. And, if you plan to visit Amsterdam, you should seriously consider visiting while Kings Day takes place. Allowing yourself to experience just how a country comes together will help you to realise just how special Amsterdam is. You will also discover just how unique the people of Holland really are.
Kings Day 2019 is taking place on the 27th April. Be sure to be part of it!