An international guide to kindsday

An international guide to kindsday

The first thing you do when you are accepted by the UvA is to check which days you have off, right? Then you might know that King’s Day is a big thing in the Netherlands. The meaning of this holiday (and the endless sea of orange) can be quite confusing, and let’s be honest, daunting. If you are not aware of King’s Day and you want to know more about it. Here is a guide for the Day dedicated to the King, my international folks! 

This year the upcoming holiday is on the 27th of April because of the fact that the current King of the Dutch Royal Family celebrates his birthday. For plenty of years now, this day has been fixed on the 27th of April because the King hasn’t changed. His name, by the way, is Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand. Every year the Dutch Royal Family visits one or several places in the Netherlands. This year the city of Maastricht is honoured with the King’s presence. But what is going to happen in Amsterdam, my dear fellow students?

A big, big, big party!

Masses of people take the opportunity on King’s Day to party hard. Not only are these regions full of people, but also all of Amsterdam will be lined by ‘throngs’ of the Dutch population.

An extra bonus: King’s Night

Although all ‘formal’ activities are on King’s Day, tonight Amsterdam clubs are organising special parties and concerts. 

Don’t forget to wear orange!

Traditionally the colour of the Royal Family is orange and on that day the custom says to wear orange to honour the King (formerly the Queen). If you don’t have any orange outfits (let’s be honest it’s a tough colour to stylishly wear), no worries, because Dutch stores will provide you with a sea of orange items on King’s Day. Challenge your friends and yourself to wear only orange and eat carrots for the whole day. 

Free market (Vrije markt)

Throughout the whole city, selling and buying small and frivolous products from their households form another affair on this exceptional day. Symbolic prices will enable you to buy the majority of objects being sold during the Vrije markt. Negotiations are always held between the seller and the buyer. Most Important! Don’t expect to buy anything of significant value (you know what I mean!). These particular events start as early as 7 AM and end around 4 AM.  

Rent a boat

Don’t forget to rent a boat with your friends.  Many crates of beers will keep you company throughout the day, while you enjoy the sunny day (Don’t forget to check the weather, you can’t count on sunny days in April!) You can find a plethora of boat companies within Amsterdam, even financially affordable. Going for a ride with a boat constitutes a great experience in Amsterdam.

Museumsplein during the day

Museumsplein transforms into an open-air pop and disco music festival. Either sitting on the grass of the square or dancing can be a way to entertain yourself and your friends. Show off your dance moves to win the informal dance tournament sponsored by an unknown Dammer. It’s a top secret. 

Not interested in partying?

If you live in Amsterdam and don’t want to party, check the schedule of some museums. The majority of them are open on this day. 

Whether the King is so important as an institution or not, King’s Day is an important holiday for the Dutch population and we have to sympathise with their enthusiasm and have fun with beers, orange outfits and friends during that day. See you there on 27th April (if we can spot you in the sea of orange!)