Koninginnedag Celebrations at Dutchies
The Queen of the Netherland’s official birthday (Queen’s Day, koninginnedag) is celebrated each year with parties, street markets, concerts and special events for the royal family on April 30 or on April 29 if the 30th is a Sunday.
Dutchies celebrated in true Dutch style this year. Orange flags were hung all over the restaurant and special celebratory Dutch eats and drinks enjoyed by all who attended. Even the sunset played along 🙂
What do people do in Holland?
In many towns and cities, particularly Amsterdam, Arnhem, Utrecht and The Hague, the Queen’s Day celebrations begin on the evening of April 29. There are public music performances and street parties. Some events continue until daybreak when the actual Queen’s Day events begin.
Many people in the Netherlands have a day off work and schools are closed on April 30. It is the only day in the year that people without licences to trade can sell things on the street. Some people set up stalls to sell second-hand goods and Queen’s Day themed products in many city and town centers.
There is a lot of busking and official musical performances on Queen’s Day. Many people spontaneously sing “Het Wilhelmus”. This is a poem written in 1574 and describes the life of William of Orange (William the Silent) and his fight for the Dutch people. It is written as if William of Orange is introducing himself to the Dutch people. Versions are also played by bands performing at Queen’s Day events and on radio stations.
Each year, the royal family visits one or a few places on April 30. There they are entertained with displays and performances around local historic events. The members of the royal family generally join in with the games in a good natured way and greet thousands of people who turn out to see them.
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