Monday, June 8, 2015

King's Day in the Netherlands

King's Day is a new name for this celebration...a short summary is King's Day came about after last year (2014) when Queen Beatrix abdicated the throne and her son, Willem-Alexander, took over. Previous to this it was Queen's Day. It stayed the same for two Queen's in a row, being held on 30 April, despite Queen Beatrix's birthday being in January.

So, this new celebration is held on the 27th of April now, know this people because inevitably people were showing up on the 30th and the celebration had come and gone. So, get with the program and know if you are planning a late April visit to the Netherlands (which I 100% recommend) be here for Kings Day on the 27th, 26th if the 27th is a Sunday.

So...moving on. We had a great time. I know I am writing about this late, but ya know, better late than never.

Our friends have an apartment down in the Jordaan, so we went there and our kids got to hang out and we got to hang out. It was a blast. There are a few things to remember for King's Day though:

  1. If you want a night time party with lots of music on stage go the night of the plays until about 3am, but know it will be crowded.
  2. The morning of the 27th everyone sets out their stalls to sell pretty much everything they've saved up for the past year. This is the only day in the Netherlands where you can sell stuff without a vendor permit.
  3. Be patient. Kids will be in your face to buy stuff and they will try to get to you buy access. Be firm but nice and they back off pretty quick. But, if they want to put a Dutch flag tattoo on your face for €2, just pay them and let them do it, it will totally make their day.
  4. Be ready for a crowd. You know how I said the night before is crowded. The day of is too. You have to know you will be shoulder to shoulder, back to back, and you will get pushed. Keep your cool and just go with the flow...most of the time it gets you to the bar anyway so life is good.
  5. Finally, above patient and always have a smile. Will make for a wonderful day.

There was an oyster and caviar bar, it was right next to the champagne bar...coincidence...I think not!

Look at that crowd. It was really crazy..and all down the sides of those streets were people selling stuff!

So many people were on the canals. Personal boats and rented boats. They don't do any canal tours that day, they are only to rent a seat on for King's Day. You can also buy a ticket for a space on a party barge and they will have a DJ, drinks, etc.

We got the opportunity to walk among the vendors and talk to so many interesting people. For a lot of them this is a favorite day of the year. It is a wild party and you really get a good feel for the community of Amsterdam.

This was something someone was "selling". €2 and you could swing on the swing that had you swinging out over the canal! I tell you, the cultural experience you get here is an eye opener. I love it. But, hubby wouldn't let me swing sadly...can't say I really blame him.

Hubby and I checking out some architecture.

We ended the day with a look out from the rooftop of our friends building. They took this awesome photo of us.

If you decide to plan a trip to the Netherlands, I do feel the best time is the last weekend in April. You'll get to celebrate King's Day, see the tulips in bloom at Keukenhof Gardens, and you can enjoy a bike ride through the countryside.  

Spring truly is the best time of year for a visit...tell me, where do you live and when do you feel is the best time to visit? 

P.S, Linking up to: Tater Tots and Jello and Nap Time Creations.

1 comment:

  1. What a great experience! How amazing! Thank you for linking up with #TuesTalk!
    Sarah (co-host)