The 27th of April is a public holiday where the Netherlands celebrate Koningsdag – Kings day. On this day the king celebrates his birthday with the nation. Kings day has existed or has been observed in the Netherlands since the fifth birthday of the then Princess Wilhelmina.
Before this such a celebration did not occur in the Netherlands but seeing that the popularity of the King William the third was waning, the government saw the love the country had for baby Wilhelmina, the only child of the king and his second wife Emma of Waldeck. As a means to unite the country under a single monarch, the government saw fit to device a day for the beloved princess to be celebrated- thus the inception of Princessedag. When Wilhelmina ascended to the throne, it was later named Queens day (Koninginnedag) and had been since marked as such until the then Queen Beatrix abdicated the throne. Her son Willem Alexander took over as the leader of the royal house of the Netherlands in 2013 it later became Kings day/ Koningsdag the following year-2014.
How is the King's Day celebrated?
The celebrations are held all over the country, and the royal family usually picks a city/ town to visit. This year the royal family will be hosted by the city of Groningen. The city tour will start at 11 and will finish up at 14h00. This year is going to be a somewhat sober observation of the holiday in Groningen due to the challenges that the city faces because of earthquakes due to earth fracking. Besides showcasing their talents and oddities the city has to offer, the royal family also listens to the concerns the people of the host city have. So, this is a more meaningful way of engagement even during a celebration.
Other cities turn into a huge street party with everybody wearing party clothes and donning orange; we are celebrating the Huis van Oranje after all so certain things must be observed like wearing your best orange outfits. On the 27th of April, there is also a vrijmarkt- free market where people can sell the stuff they have in the attic be it old children’s clothes, toys, art supplies, crafts, cutlery, and books. My family loves hunting for boardgames and books.
What to do in Almere on Koningsdag
On the eve of the 27th is a celebration in Almere called the Koningsnacht. This event will be held on Thursday this year. The Koningsnacht officially begins at 17h00 in the evening by the Grotemarkt in the Almere City Centrum. The festivities will include DJs of different genres of music and other artists in the entertainment industry. There will be dance item- ‘Kings Nights Dance’ where one has a chance of being crowned the ‘ Baas van de Plein. The kings night dance is between 19:00 and 00:00. Even though this is a playgroup for children and most of us have young children one can still ‘dip and do it’ and have loads of fun when possible
Things to do with the whole family on Kings day
The stadsdelen or districts in Almere all have festivities organised to be enjoyed by both adults and children alike. The links are provided below for celebrations near you.
In the center of Almere City will be music items, because what is a celebration without music!
This is the gist of what to expect at the city center kings day celebration
12.00 uur: Live-band Karaoke (zing zelf!)
14.00 uur en 15.30 uur: The Euro’s (NL’s beste feestband speelt álles)
14.45 uur: Pleun (winnares The Voice Of Holland 2017)
16.30 uur: “Grote Markt Loves Amsterdam” met o.a. Dries Roelvink
17.30 uur – 22.00 uur: Het Foute Feest Festijn “Guilty Pleasures” met o.a.: Soca Boys (“Follow The Leader”), T.O.F. (“Funk It Up”), Jody Bernal (dj set), Jeroen Post (TMF), OJKB dj’s, Klubbheads vs. BoozyWoozy, DJ Brad Tipp
This is not an exhaustive list of what and who is going to be present at the Almere centrum Koningsdag celebration.
The districts or stadsdelen in Almere will be holding a vrijmarkt- free market starting from the day before from 17- until the next day at 17:00.
The is also a special Kinderkoningsdag organised in Eilandebuurt; the children can sell their wears between 10:00 and 13:00 bij the OBS De Archipel @ Maldivenweg 45. The teacher's body has organised to sell their old clothing at the clothing market; there will also be some face painting. The daycare KDV Smallsteps also has arranged a jumping castle, water, and fruit for the children present. The proceeds of the sales will go to UNICEF and the foundation AAP- Stichting AAP. Not only is this a good cause which also promotes recycling, upcycling and great for the environment, the money collected is also going to do some meaningful work in our global society further. A top contender for things to do with the children on Kingsday. Almere Buiten is also hosting a koningsnacht from 17:00 in the center.
There is also going to be a “kleedjesmarkt” that starts at 09:00 and finishes at 17:00. Other activities that are organised in conjunction is the springkussen- jumping castle and obstacle courses (stormbanen). Lumiérepark is in Almere Stad next to the centrum, just across the back of the hospital.
Just like many of the events in Almere- Poort the festivities for this years king’s day will be organised by the picturesque area of the Klokhuis. The vrijmarkt starts from 11;00 until 16:00. There aren’t particularly unique activities planned, but it's not needed as there is a beautiful interactive wooden playground and the greenery combined with the predicted good weather is all that is required to make this day at the Klokhuis gezellig.
Basically, the whole of Haven is a party in itself. There is going to be a vrijmarkt starting at 09:00. One can take a walk around the town and near the water. If you are so inclined and since its going to be pleasant weather the terrace outlooking the Havenkom is also an excellent and more chilled option to do with children. One fun fact; since Almere Haven is the first nucleus to be built if you are a collector of vintage or antique goods it might be prudent to go to their vrijmarkt on king’s day.
If you plan to venture out of Almere with the family and friends the NS (train company) is giving a 20% discount on tickets purchased until the 27th before 14h00. The use of public transport is recommended since the cities can be packed and not easy to navigate with own transportation. Using a bicycle in and around Almere is also advisable as the buses can be packed as well.
Since we are a group of different nationalities, maybe it might interest some members of what else is the 27th of April significant for in other parts of the world.
2014 - Kings Day is celebrated in the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
1662 - The Netherlands and France signed a treaty of Alliance.
1989 - In China more than 150,000 students and workers calling for democracy marched, cheered and sang as they took over Tiananmen Square in central Beijing.
1994 -The first non-racial democratic elections were held in South Africa
- Flag Day in Moldova
- National Veterans day in Finland