Isanya Köhne

Next week, on the 27th to be exact, is when the Netherlands celebrates somewhat of an unusual holiday, which is known as ‘Kings Day’. 

The reason behind this national holiday is one that’s pretty straight forward, and you might have already guessed yourself. Each year, this day is dedicated to celebrating the Dutch King his birthday. Before the Queen’s abdication in 2013, this day was known as ‘Queen’s Day’ and was celebrated on her birthday, the 30th of April. Usually, this holiday is one big spectacle, with flea markets, parties, and special events at venues such as restaurants all over the country. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, this year will look a little different. 

The name for this year; ‘Woningsdag’, quickly translated to ‘House Day’. As there are certain measurements in play that need to be kept in mind, the Oranjebond (Orange association) has come up with an eventful program for the day that doesn’t include the packed events like before: 

  • At 09.45h, they will ring the church bells throughout the entirety of the Netherlands to announce this special day. 

  • At 10:00h, people can join in to sing the national anthem of the Netherlands which is called the ‘Wilhelmus’. 

  • At 10:10h, news channel NOS will have a segment on television, looking back at previous King’s Day’s. 

  • Around 12:00h, there’ll be an online flea market instead of the plenty that usually take place in the non-digital realm. Second hand platforms, such as Marktplaats, have provided more information on their websites, in case you’d like to join as a shopper, seller, or both.  

  • Between 15:00 - 16:00h, there’ll be live performances in front of elderly homes done by various musicians to put a smile on their face on this day. 

  • At 16:00h, the association asks everyone who’d like to toast to the king’s birthday. This can be done with any drink, or with the special orange liquor or ‘oranjebitter’ that’s made out of curacao peels, pomerans, and brandy. 

  • At 19:00h, news channel NOS will provide a TV segment showcasing how this day was celebrated in the corona times. 

Even though this day won’t be celebrated in the same way, the orange association and many others will try to make it as fun of an event as possible, so if you’d like to participate, put on something orange, pour yourself a drink to toast to the king, and hop online to do some second hand shopping. Lastly, we as ESN The Netherlands are also organizing an online Kingsday activity, which you can all join!  You can find the link to the event here!