How do people celebrate Kings Day?

How do people celebrate Kings Day?

Kings Day is a national holiday in the Netherlands celebrated on the 27th of April each year. It marks the birthday of King Willem-Alexander and is a day filled with festivities, parades, orange-colored clothing, and joyful celebrations. Let’s dive into the traditions and customs of this special day.


Before Kings Day, the Dutch people start preparing by decorating their houses and streets with orange-colored banners, flags, and balloons. Orange is the national color of the Netherlands and is associated with the royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau. People also clean out their attics and garages to set up stalls for the famous Kings Day flea markets.

Flea Markets

The Kings Day flea markets are a highlight of the celebrations. People of all ages set up stalls on the streets to sell their second-hand items, toys, clothes, and homemade crafts. It’s an excellent opportunity for locals to socialize, bargain, and engage in sustainable practices by recycling and reusing items. The streets are bustling with bargain hunters, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere.

Parades and Festivities

Throughout the day, there are parades and various festivities organized in cities and towns across the Netherlands. Music bands, dance groups, and performers fill the streets, offering entertainment for all ages. Colorful floats, decorated boats on canals, and street performances create a festive ambiance. People wear orange clothing, wigs, hats, and accessories, showcasing their national pride and love for the royal family.

Children’s Activities

Kings Day is a special day for children, packed with fun activities. Many cities organize special events such as treasure hunts, face painting, puppet shows, and games for children to enjoy. Families often participate in these activities together, making it a memorable experience for everyone.

Traditional Games

How do people celebrate Kings Day?

There are several traditional games played on Kings Day, such as “koekhappen,” where participants try to bite a hanging cookie with their hands tied behind their back, and “spijkerpoepen,” where players attach a nail to a string tied around their waist and try to lower it into a bottle.

Street Performances and Music

Street performers and musicians fill the air with their talents, showcasing diverse forms of entertainment. You can find bands playing traditional Dutch music, DJs hosting open-air parties, and local talents performing on street corners. Dancing, singing, and celebration are in full swing throughout the day.

Eating and Drinking

Food and drinks play an essential role in Kings Day celebrations. Street food stalls offer a wide variety of traditional Dutch snacks, such as “bitterballen” (deep-fried meatballs), “poffertjes” (tiny fluffy pancakes), and “haring” (raw herring). The Dutch also enjoy their famous orange-colored liqueur, “Oranjebitter,” and other refreshing beverages while celebrating.

Kings Day is a day of joy, unity, and national pride for the Dutch people. It brings communities together, fosters cultural traditions, and creates memorable experiences for people of all ages. The combination of flea markets, parades, street performances, and delicious food makes Kings Day a unique and vibrant celebration in the Netherlands.

What is Three Kings Day?