King's Day - Koningsdag, Amsterdam
April 30 - Amsterdam
You definately want to be in Amsterdam on THIS day!! It's one of the biggest holidays in the Netherlands. It's kind of like Canada Day, the USA's July 4th, and New Orlean's Mardi Gras - all rolled into one!
On Koninginnedag (APRIL 30) the entire country – especially Amsterdam – turns into one giant flea market. Early in the morning, millions of closets are cleaned out and dumped onto the sidewalks in front of apartment buildings and homes.
Koninginnedag is also declared as free market day. Everyone - including all bars and restaurant takings are tax-free for the day. People raid their grandmother's closets, and poke around in their attics, gather up old house items, stake out a spot on the sidewalk in the center of town and have a HUUUGE flea-market/garage/sidewalk sale.
It's *FAN-TAS*TIC*!! It is particularly big with children. I heard of children making 200 - 300 euros in a day !!
As a sidenote: April 30th isn’t even Queen Beatrix's date of birth; (she was born January 31st).
April 30th is actually the birth date of her mother: Queen Juliana. But Beatrix, in typical
Dutch sensibility and pragmatism, kept the April 30th date as the official day of celebration for the Queen’s Birthday because the weather is much warmer and drier at the end of April than at the end of January.
So if you’re lucky enough to be in The Netherlands for Queen’s Day, be sure to take a get up early on Queen's day, and stroll the sidewalks of the smaller, suburbs and districts of Amsterdam. See what little treasures and souvenirs you will find to take home with you!
Where else in the world can you get away with wearing orange AND a goofy vinyl hat? ;-)
The Dutch royal family is the House of Oranje-Nassau and orange is the royal color (and favorite color) of the Netherlands. So EVERYONE wears orange on this day: orange clothes, orange shoes, orange balloons, orange streamers, orange face & body paint, orange scarves, sunglasses, orange bow ties, etc, etc.. ALL are de rigeur for that day!
I may not travel in the same circles as Dutch royalty, but I just *had* to buy one of those goofy crowns. I had seen several women wearing them and they clearly were having fun! Walking through the crowds, wearing my royal Dutch crown, I felt truly regal as I realized people were looking at me, waving, and saying things like: "There goes the queen!", "Beatrix.. ! Queen Beatrix!" (well ok, not really, but it was fun nevertheless!)
Yes everyone, this is *THEE* day - the DAY of DAYS - the you WANT to be in Amsterdam, to partake in all the glorious festivities and merrymaking..
Queensday. This is THE day to visit Amsterdam! Officially it's hold on the queens mother (Juliana) birthday, but when Beatrix became queen, she decided that April 30th would stay that particular day.
Thousands of people will walk on the street, parks. a Lot of them will wear things of our national color: orange. One big family, one big party!
Everybody (even people from abroad) can sell on this day whatever they like without paying tax. There is one exception: food. Children will play an instrument and receive coins for it (also making money out of it). Some are doing it for commercial reasons, while others try to sell their old things: books, records, paintings...whatever the want can be sold, you will find it on the streets!
“Peace is the biggest struggle.”
— Her Majesty Juliana, Queen of The Netherlands (1909-2004)
ORANGE YOU GLAD THERE’S A PARTY? Oranjegekte, orange madness, is everywhere for Koninginnedag, to honor the Royal House of Orange, the family dynasty that has ruled the Netherlands for 500 years.
On Koninginnedag the canals are filled with boats and the boats are filled with partiers (see photo #2) wearing orange. Walking along the canals was one the most pleasant parts of the day. It was also the easiest. Many of the streets were so clogged with revelers, passage was slow and ugly.
Koninginnedag is a day when you can walk around town sporting a glittering tiara and a orange feather boa (see photo #3) without anyone raising an eyebrow. The person passing by may be more outlandishly dressed. There’s no way to take yourself or others seriously wearing bright orange.
With a cloudless sky and the temperature at a pleasant 70° it was perfect weather for an outdoor party. About 800,000 visitors, mostly young Dutch from nearby towns and villages, came to Amsterdam for Queen’s Day.
If you are about 25 years old and drunk, celebrating with friends of similar age and consciousness, Koninginnedag is a blast. If you are in your 50s and a foreign visitor, the day is mildly amusing at best.
Long live the Queen!
I do not think we have anything like this in the US. This has to be one of the biggest parties held in the world every year. Amsterdam's celebration tends to attract so many people that it can make getting around a bit difficult but at the same time the energy and excitment in the town is unmatched. I've been every years since 01' and will probably go back in 08' etc...
Since by the end of the day everyone is a little burnt out on drinking and other forms of consumption the real night activites start the night before on the Eve. Asside from the massive crowds you will find plenty of live music, cheap food and beer, and maybe a new friend or two. The canals are so jammed with partiers that on some canals you can walk accross them from boat to boat.
If you are looking to have fun in Europe then this is one event that should not be missed.
“Citizens and social organizations in the Netherlands have proven through the years that they can absorb great changes in the world and our own society.”
— Her Majesty Beatrix, Queen of The Netherlands (1938- )
CHANGES, BUT EVERYONE LOVES A PARTY Koninginnedag, Queen’s Day, is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated April 30th, Koninginnedag is the official observation of Queen Beatrix’s birthday. Although she was born on January 31st, it is observed in April when fairer weather is likely for out-of-doors festivities.
Our first stop of the day was to visit Her Majesty the Queen (see photo #1); she meant to wear the hat on my head to Prince William’s wedding the day before, but she was not invited — her son was, so she lent it to me!
The annual celebration of Queen’s Day began in 1885, as a birthday party for 5-year-old Princess Wilhelmina, born on August 31st. Because she was the only surviving child of King Willem III, Wilhelmina became queen a week after her 18th birthday in 1898. After her coronation, August 31st became a national holiday known as the Queen’s Birthday.
Queen Wilhelmina ruled for 50 years, abdicating in 1948 in favor of her only child, Princess Juliana, whose birthday was April 30th. After Juliana became queen, the Queen’s Birthday celebration was shifted to the spring for the next 32 years.
In 1980, Queen Juliana abdicated in favor of the oldest of her four daughters, Princess Beatrix. In her coronation speech, Queen Beatrix announced that in honor of her mother, the national holiday would continue to be celebrated on April 30th and that it would be renamed Queen’s Day.
God save the Queen!
The day before Queen`s day can be as exciting as the day after. In some neighbourhoods (Watergraafsmeer i.e.) the tradition is to make evening party with opera, jazz and folk songs. It is so entertaining that even if you are not dutch I bet you find yourself singing joyful Amsterdamse songs and dancing all over with them.
If you have a change to visit Amsterdam on 30th April (or even 29th), then do so.
On 30th April the whole country goes crazy because of queen's (or actually queen's mother's) birthday.
Amsterdam is packed with people walking and dancing on the streets - and having fun in general. Music is played all around the city centre, by the locals and also in free concerts. People have right to have free street sales on that day, so there are lots of things for sale.
Partying actually starts on the previous evening. And I regret for a little bit, because I didn't check out the evening and night parties.
That's when we celedrate the Birthday of our Queen, it is on the 30th of April.
You wil see a Mega street party with stalls all over the place and people having a good time.
A lot of bars and cafe's will have bands playing.
That's the day when a lot of people sell all the things they want to get rid of on the street, with a bit of luck you'll find a good bargain.
And you'll see people doing crazy things just to make money.
Please, don't miss 'Queen's day' in April the 30th, all over Amsterdam and Netherlands, everywhere, the whole day, from dawn till dusk.
You can sell whatever you want in the street. Everybody wear something orange and drink Heineken. There are music in the streets and inside the pubs since 9 AM and great atmosphere everywhere.
Queensday!! On the 30th of April we have the biggest party in the year. It's the birthday of our queen's mom. Especially in the bigger cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag everybody is dressing in our national colour, orange, and hitting the streets for drinking, dancing and having fun!
It starts the night before: we call it Queen's night. There are special parties in almost every club. But make sure you get your ticket in advance cause they probably will be sold out! Most of the people only go off home to take a shower and then: party on!
On the day itself there will be live bands playing outside on different places in the center. The streets will be absolutely crowded!
There are also people selling stuff everywhere for very little money (think of a garage sale) but if you want good, cheap stuff make sure you get there early (sunrise)!
Great party, great atmosphere! You won't believe your eyes!! It's a once in a lifetime experience for tourists.
2013 will be the last queensday as the prince will become the king that day.
Koningsdag kingsday will be celebrated at 26 april 2014 (normally 27th april but not on a sunday)
best way to travel is by underground or walk from the trainstations
it is a big fleemarket in the netherlands
people sell thing on the street most of the time it is on 30 april every year
it is a big party and very crowded. there is no or almost no public transport in the centre area it is impossible to drive there because of the crowd.
the advise at the moment is go to the amstel station and take the underground.
music at leidseplein, museumplein, rembrandtplein.
selling things only childern at vondelpark.
other places van baerlestraat, beethovenstraat, apollolaan. in the aera of the muiderpoortstation, linneausparkweg, middenweg. mercatorplein, jan evertsenstraat, rozengracht and many more places also in other cities.
a site from someone that i find on internet. it has pictures. so than you have an idea what is queensday.
http://www.rnw.nl/hollandnl/html/amsterdam.html.under more links fotogalerij. (dutch)
This is a crazy day in Amsterdam. Around 750000 people are cruising around the canals and streets of the city - most of them dressed in orange - Holland's national colour.
On this day - which is the birthday of the ex-queen Juliana - everyone is allowed to sell things on the street or perform as well. It's really great to see the people cook in their door and sell food, kids perform their breakdancing tricks or musical skills, all the bars sell drinks outside and if you like you can even throw eggs at people in one place!!
The canals are full with boats of different size and it's great fun watching the people partying on their boats. (I bet it's even more fun being on one of them!)
Queensday in Holland is our national bankholiday, its when we celebrate the birthday of the queens mother. On the 30st of April, it is a complete madhouse in Amsterdam!! About a 1 million people will be scattered all over the city center, most of them dressed in orange, which is our national colour, and everybody is partying.....
This is the best day of the year, it starts the night before queensday, it will not be as busy as on the day itself, but it is a great night out, most people only go back home to have a shower and then party on. On queensday there is a big fun far at the damsquare, which is well known for pickpockets!! there are groups of men surrounding you and then try to empty every pocket you have. But don't let that keep you from coming..... there are markets everywhere, people selling clothing, beer, food and strange orange things, bands everywhere, the best day of the year!!
This has gotta' be the biggest party on the face of the earth.
Although Mardi Gras and Carnivale are huge events, they still only take place in New Orleans & Rio de Janeiro.
The Partying actually gets started on the evening of April 29th, with Queens Day proper beginning on April 30th. It's suppose to be in celebration of the Queens Birthday, except that the current Queens birthday is in the dead of winter, so they celebrate the former Queens birthday.
Queens Day is celebrated on a grand scale throughout The Netherlands, it's just that Amsterdam seems to be "Party Central". The biggest National & International acts perform at a huge stage set up on the Museumplein, while at another dozen or more stages throughout the center, live entertainment have the masses dancing in the streets.
If this wasn't enough, the canals are jammed with party boats, loaded to the max with orange clad partiers, DJ's & large sound systems - blaring techno/trance music that can be heard blocks away.
And through it all there's the "Free Market" which is quite literally, a nationwide yard/garage/rummage/boot (or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods) sale.
Our particular Queens Night/Queens Day activities went something like this:
Our official start was a meet up with friends at the 'Last Waterhole' in the Leidseplein;
some jenevier tasting at Wynand Focking; walk around the RLD & Dam Square (where a full fledge 'carnival' was going on); overcrowded tram (where a pickpocket got nothing more than a hotel keycard) back to the Leidseplein for the crowds & stage activities in the main square & over at the Max Euweplein.
I'm told that the club parties go on until 4 or 5 in the morning, but we called it an early night at about 1am and retired to our hotel.
Queens day proper started right outside the Hilton's doors where the 'Free market' was already in progress. Spread out for several blocks in both directions, was a flea market of epic proportions. This included a group of young teens playing rock music as an accompaniment. Joan couldn't help herself, and we had to return her 'findings' to our hotel room before we set off any further.
After unloading, we headed directly for the Vondel Park to see what the kids had in store. The park (and the Nieuwmarkt) are set aside for kid activities. Vondel Park specifically, is where you'll find the young entrepreneurs of Amsterdam - selling various baked goods & refreshments, playing music & other performances & stunts to earn a Euro or two.
From here we made the long walk to our friends houseboat on the Korte Prinsengracht. Along the way music blaring from the streets and canals, & all sorts of items being offered for sale along the streets.
We spent a good part of the day atop our friends houseboat watching the parade of party boats make their way up the canal. We felt kinda' privileged to have our 'front row' seats, away from the crowds lining the streets and bridges.
By early evening it was off to another houseboat party already in progress over on the Nieuwe Keizersgracht. Good company, party 'favours', & munchies made for an ideal setting to wind down the days activities...
...caught a tram early, got off at the Museumplein, and found the days activities weren't quite over. The big concert was still going on with 'Kane' on stage.
We stayed for a couple songs and walked on back to the Hilton, where we could seethe closing act, David Guetta (in the distance), & fireworks (in the suburbs), from our room.
We had the best of times & I for one hope to make another Queens Day or two before I die.
Do a search on youtube.com for 'Queens Day' or 'koninginnedag' to feast your eyes on the party.