On Monday, April 27th we celebrate King’s Day for the second time here in the Netherlands, but it is the first time it will be celebrated on the King’s actual birthday (last year the King’s birthday fell on a Sunday, so King’s Day was celebrated the day before, 26/04/2014). People will dress in orange to symbolize the colour of the Royal Family, and hang Dutch flags, some with an additional orange attachment.
The lineage of the current Dutch dynasty, the House of Oranje Nassau, dates back to Willem van Oranje Nassau (William van Oranje). The color orange has far greater importance in the Netherlands than other countries, because it symbolizes national pride and being Dutch.
Koningsdag celebrates the birthday of the Dutch king, and activities related to this public holiday happen all over the Netherlands.
Despite some rumors that it will be very different from last year, people will still play koekhappen and there will be vrijmarkten where people can sell their second hand items (only professional sellers need to have a regular permission to set up a stall ) from 7:30-16:00 (find the rules here).
Vrijmarkten in The Hague
The traditional Vrijmarkt will take place in Frederik Hendriklaan, called “Kroon op fe Fred” from 7:00-16:00. Everyone is welcome to participate and there will also be a programme for children. – All shops will be open that day.
During this year’s King’s Day you can join in on the festivities with a fancy fair, historic tram tours, boat rides, flea markets, special museum activities and much more. With the ‘Haagse Koningsdag 2015’ flyer you can get a discount on many activities in the city centre mentioned here below.
A traditional Dutch fun fair, the King’s Fair (Koningskermis) takes place on the Lange Voorhout, Lange Vijverberg, Buitenhof and Frederik Hendriklaan. It started on Friday and runs through 5 May.
The Hague Public Transport Museum organises historic tram tours around the city between 12:00-17:00 from the Lange Voorhout.
You can take Golden Carriage rides between 12:00-16:00 through the city centre (boarding point is at the corner of Grote Marktstraat and Spui).
If you prefer a boat ride, you can book a Willemsvaart which rides between Hooigracht and Veenkade, departing from Hooikade between 11:00- 15:00. Cost with the flyer coupon is €5.00 per person.
The annual Geranium Market takes place on King’s Day along the Lange Voorhout from 8.30-17.00 . With the flyer coupon, you can receive a free mini plant at the Groei en Bloei stand (as long as supplies last).
King’s Day concert
The Residentie Orkest (The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra) will give a King’s Day concert accompanied by Turkish-Dutch singer Karsu in the Anton Philipszaal at 20:15.
From 12:00-13:00, you can enjoy the free bell concert from the tower of the Grote Kerk.
You can find the whole progamme of the King’s Day here.