The Netherlands celebrated its first King’s Day in 122 years


This spring, Holland celebrated its first King’s Day, on Saturday, greeting King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima in De Rij, and Amstelveen near the city of Amsterdam. The royal festival day was initially marked on August 31, 1885 and was then changed to April 30, the birthday of the King Willem-Alexander’s mother, now Princess Beatrix.
After King Willem-Alexander’s inauguration on April 30, 2013, the Queen’s Day is replaced by the King’s Day for the first time, which falls on Saturday April 26, 2014 instead of April 27, the King’s birthday, because the events is traditionally not celebrated on Sunday in the Netherlands.
Dressed up in orange, hundreds of thousands of Dutch participated in various festive activities on the cheerful occasion. People on the streets enjoyed all kinds of entertainments, such as sports, games, arts and musical performances. Crown-princess, Amalia, princesses Alexia and Ariane, the daughters of Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, were all surprisingly seen at the celebrations in Amstelveen. Princess Beatrix who abdicated last year and other royal family members also joined the celebrations. “This first King’s Day was unforgettable,” said King Willem-Alexander in a short speech afterwards, china.org.cn reports. In response to the question of if there would be any changes next year for the King’s Day celebration, King did say: “Why change something that is such a success?”
Naturally King’s Day has not just celebrated in Amsterdam but throughout the country. For instance in The Hague, where the entire evening and night before King’s Day was filled with one big party and many shows. Or in Utrecht, which hosts a huge flea market every year. There were big kermissen or fairs throughout the country and every city and village celebrates this unique holiday in its own individual way.

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