You might be used to celebrating your own birthday, or that of friends and family-members. There might even be a chance you’ve celebrated the birthday of a friend’s friend once. But here in the Netherlands we take it a step further, and collectively turn the streets into a Festival-area for a member of the Royal Family. That’s right, in April the Dutch celebrate the King’s Birthday: Kingsday (Koningsdag).
What is Kingsday?
Kingsday, or as the Dutch themselves call it ‘Koningsdag’, was first celebrated in 2014. After the (now) King Willem-Alexander was inaugurated on 30 April 2013; a date that was until then known as Queen’s Day. Though the origins of this Royal Celebration go back a little longer than that.
The Queen’s Day tradition started back in 1885, to celebrate the birth of Queen Wilhelmina on the 31st of August. After Wilhemina’s daughter Juliana succeeded her mothers task in 1949, she changed the day to match her own birthday on the 30th of April. Her daughter, the now Princess Beatrix, kept that day in honor of her mother. Though her son years later chose to change the day to his birthday on the 27th of April – and thus started ‘Kingsday’.
Origins of Kingsday
Even back when it was still called ‘Queen’s Day’, the Dutch loved to celebrate their royal’s birthday. Although this year’s Kingsday turns out to be a Saturday, it has always been an official national holiday. That means that most companies close their doors so their employees can join the festivities, and believe us when we say those are not to be missed!
Throughout the whole country complete city centers turn orange. People, street decorations and even pets are dressed in orange as a show of pride for the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Orange-Nassau. This sea of orange doesn’t only look fantastic, it unites the Dutch people when there’s a national celebration or sports event.
Festivities on Kingsday
Kingsday, as said before, is a national holiday and is celebrated accordingly. In every major city there are parties on the street, with live music and outdoor bars. For a lot of people, Kingsday is the only day of the year they let themselves go completely. Amsterdam this year hosts several festival areas to keep the party somewhat contained. Though the many bars throughout the city centre will definitely make sure the party is spread nicely all over town.
Drinking (way too much) alcohol isn’t the only way Kingsday is celebrated though. Many cities have a street market where people can freely sell their old clothes, toys, cd’s and other stuff they have laying around. Children celebrate Kingsday too, by participating in sporting activities organized by schools and sports clubs.
Whatever you’ve got planned for Kingsday, we at Amsterdam Genetics are waiting to welcome you to our beautiful city to join the party. When you do, please be reminded that our Coffeeshop Information Center is closed on Kingsday. All Amsterdam Genetics (related) coffeeshops are open though, see their menu’s for availability of strains and prices on that special day.
To help celebrate the King’s Birthday we’re giving away a FREE CAP with every 5 or 10 pack of seeds from now until the 30th of April. All you have to do to enjoy this deal is:
1. Select your seeds
2. Select a cap
3. See the ‘FREE CAP’ discount upon checkout!