- Koninginnedag also known as the Queen’s Day was celebrated all over Netherlands and was declared to be a national holiday. It was an annual festival celebrated on 30th of April each year.
- Initially this holiday was celebrated on 31st August in the year 1885. Back then it was called the Prinsessedag or the Princess’s Day. It marked the 5th birthday celebration of Princess Wilhelmina who was the heir to the throne.
- As she succeeded to become the Queen and took over the Dutch throne, in the month of November in 1890, this holiday was renamed as Koninginnedag or the Queen’s Day.
- It was celebrated for the very first time on 31st August in 1891.In 1948, in the month of September, Queen Wilhelmina’s daughter, Princess Juliana, succeeded her.
- On her accession the holiday was shifted to 30th of April which was Queen Juliana’s birthday. From 1949, this holiday was observed on this particular date every year.
- The Dutch thrown was taken over by Queen Juliana’s daughter, Princess Beatrix, in the year 1980. Even though her birthday was on 31st of January, Queen’s Day continued to be celebrated on 30th April on Queen’s order.
- However unlike Queen Juliana, who received a floral parade every year on this day at Soestdijk Palace, Queen Beatrix visited various Dutch towns each year.
- She used to be a part of this festivity and was accompanied by her children. In the year 2009, when the Queen was celebrating this day in Apeldoorn, a man tried to attack her by ramming his car into the bus of the Royal family.
- However he missed his target drove into a crowd of people and finally came to a standstill after crashing into a monument.
- Seven people along with the driver were killed in the incident.
- In 2013’s Queen’s Day celebration, Queen Beatrix denounced the throne and was succeeded by her son, Prince Willem-Alexander. From the year 2014 this holiday was named as Koningsdag or the King’s Day.
- The date of observance was also shifted to 27th of April which is the King’s birthday.
Celebration of this Day
The entire Netherlands starts preparations weeks before the arrival of this day and is seen to be in a festive mood. In Amsterdam, this day is more like a Carnival with huge number of parties being celebrated throughout the city along with various street markets. Every year around seven hundred thousand visitors from all over the world gather here to be a part of this festivity. Even though the city becomes extremely over crowded during this time of the year, people are still seen to be in a relaxed yet joyful mood. Queen’s Day has been celebrated throughout the entire Netherlands for around 50 years. The celebration that takes place in Amsterdam, the capital of Netherlands, is the biggest and the most attractive among all.
A free Market or Vrijmarkt is held every year on this day. People gather all the things that are of no use to them and then bring them to this market. They trade such goods with their neighbors and other people who come to visit this flea market. It is a unique social occasion which requires the involvement of the entire family and strengthens the social bonds as well. The prices are kept for namesake as fun and frolic is what matters the most on this event.
Koninginnenacht or the queen’s Night is celebrated on the night before the Queen’s Day. Various parties are held at different clubs across Netherlands. These parties generally start at 7 pm and continue till the next morning. Usually the young people are seen to attend these parties with friends and colleagues. Amsterdam is the main centre of attraction on this night.