For some people it will sound completely solemn a celebration like ‘King’s day’ …. What kind of party will that be? Something highly ceremonial to which everyone should dress properly for the occasion? Or maybe something for which we should be “on the list” to enter? Well, it’s pretty far from something similar.
Seventeen years ago, my first time in Holland as I have told before, I had the opportunity to celebrate it for the first time. On that occasion, I honestly do not remember very well (I think the years do not pass in vain …), we went to Rembrandtplein and spent the day like many tourists do. This time it was something completely different.
There has been a change in recent years as well. Until 4 years ago the celebration was on April 30th. I remember that clearly because it was the birthday of my sweet grandmother Blanca Aurora Dyer Loli, who said that she was the ‘only and real queen’. Since 2014 the celebration changed to William Alexander’s day or more popularly known as Willem-Alexander van Oranje-Nassau married to a latina.
Many travelers do not consider this celebration, which can be positive or negative. A few days ago I spoke in a group of FB with a girl who asked for a place to stay in the week of April 27th when everything was full and expensive. Well, I explained why could be the reason, what she thanked and delayed her trip. And to the tourists that still go on those dates I would only say … ENJOY!
That day you will find EVERYTHING. I say EVERYTHING because it is far from being a solemn celebration as some of you may think. The king had before the nickname of “Prins Pils” (Prince beer) during his student life … and today honors that nickname. The streets of all cities in Holland are dressed in orange and people only once throughout the year are all over the streets. Rain was expected this year, but luckily there was almost no rain. And we really enjoyed the day.
The night of the 26th is koningsavond (king’s night) and there are fireworks and lots of party. Not only is it a celebration for adults: on the 27th in the morning and late there are many activities for children, such as recreation parks, shows, etc. I spent it in Amsterdam in ‘de Jordaan’ and I must confess that it was very good. Boat parties are an option but tourists who thought of going to Anna Frank’s house or some other museum had to make an endless queue. There are not all public transport lines, which should be taken into account (and yes … .. it did not help me to be with heels and with the pink suitcase around Amsterdam …), but sore and all we all I had a blast!
There are people dressed extravagantly. You can find from an orange “Mr. Cow” up to 3 individuals pushing a “Royal carriage” made of cardboard with gold paper and a subject of “dubious origin” greeting the public. And of course I had to be in orange as well (see photo).
In king’s day you will have a real taste of what Dutch call “gezelligheid”. I had forgotten what that term meant. I was a few years away from this city but I still remember what it was to enjoy those channels and Amsterdam like I did that day and I seriously believe that I already have one more and very strong reason to return.