My first King’s day in Amsterdam started the Thursday evening before the event with plenty of parties happening all over town, but especially on & around Rembrandtsplein. Dutch classics either live or DJ (incl. loads of German song melodies with Dutch lyrics) played pretty loudly. I didn’t stay too long though that night, as Jan had invited me to the annual autorodeo event in his village of Rouveen. Right after that crazy event I made my ay back to Amsterdam and spent the rest of King’s day with class mate Abdo (Lebanon) and his friends in the hugely crowed city center.
What’s the Kings day about – history? The King’s day (Koningsdag) honours the birthday of the prevailing leader of the Dutch royal family. It used to be Queen’s day (30th ApriL) until 2013 when King Wilhelm-Alexander officially took over the reign. The Netherlands have been a kingdom since Napoleon created a pet-kingdom for his third brother Louis, but since the Dutch liked to have a king, the task was handed to the Oranje family who had been instrumental in winning the 80y war against Spain.
What’s the Kings day about – practice? Essentially the whole country puts up Dutch flags, dresses in orange, organises concerts/festivals and drinks a lot of beer. A huge party from cities to the countryside. Amsterdam was a mess day time (people) and nighttime (rubbish), but things went mostly orderly. A fun fact is the huge amount of laughing gas sold all over the place. It almost seemed there were more empty gas cartridges than beer cans!
I really enjoyed Thursday night, but the actual event was a little too busy for my taste and I was glad I spent much of the day on the auto rodeo. But nice to see the Dutch going wild altogether.