Koningsdag or King's Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 27 April, the date marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander. Until the abdication of Queen Beatrix in 2013, the holiday was known as Koninginnedag or Queen's Day and was celebrated on 30 April.
The Dutch royal family bears the name: House of Oranje. This literally means the color orange. As a result it has become Holland's national color. On King's Day people wear orange clothes, often even donning orange wigs or make-up.
Since 2014 we no longer celebrate Queen’s Day, but King’s Day. The celebrations are nation-wide and take place on the 27th of April (instead of the 30th, as was the case before 2014), with everyone dressed in orange, and the more exuberant, the better.
King’s Day in the entire country
On 27 April, all of Holland is a party! From the biggest cities down to the smallest hamlets, the entire country celebrates King’s Day. There are street markets everywhere, where people sell all kinds of miscellany and (home-made) treats. Bands are playing on every street corner, every pub is serving beer outside and all around, people are dancing in their orange outfits. Tradition dictates that the Royal family visits one or two municipalities in Holland on this day, so with any luck, you might see them yourself!
King’s Day in The Hague
In the city of The Hague, centre of the courts of Holland, King’s Day is celebrated as it should be celebrated, too. Street markets abound here too, of course, and the hustle and bustle is especially spirited around the canals, Statenkwartier and Noordeinde. What The Hague is most known for, however, is King’s Night, the night before King’s Day, when its various squares – Kerkplein, Grote Markt and Plaats, among others – play host to well-known bands and DJs.
King’s Day in Utrecht
In Utrecht, the street markets are open for you to enjoy starting the evening before King’s Day, 26 April, from 18:00 on. On the 27th there is, of course, a deeply convivial atmosphere to be enjoyed, with a myriad decorated boats on the canals and fun parties and gigs on squares such as Domplein, Lucasbolwerk, Mariaplaats, Neude and Janskerkhof.
King’s Day in Eindhoven
Just like in The Hague, Eindhoven has a score of entertaining shows for you to enjoy on its squares the evening before King’s Day: on Wilhelminaplein, Stationsplein and Stadhuisplein. King’s Day itself is especially enjoyable, with street markets around Mathildelaan, Strijp-S and the squares we just named.