Yesterday, 27th April 2015, was the first Koningsdag or King’s Day that was celebrated on the right day of the year. People from the suburbs of ʼs-Hertogenbosch cycled in droves to the festivities in the city centre.
King Willem-Alexander will be in power for two years on the 30th of April next. After his inauguration he decided that the Dutch National Holiday (that had been held as Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day from 1949 to 2013 on the 30th of April) would from then on be celebrated on his own birthday, on the 27th of April. But last year that date was on a Sunday and as a protestant king you are not allowed to celebrate on the day of the lord. That meant that King’s Day was celebrated on Saturday last year. That in turn made this year’s holiday the first ‘real’ King’s Day.
Compared to the former Queen’s Day nothing much changed. There are street parties in every village, town and city in the Netherlands and the notorious vrijmarkten (free markets) where people are allowed to sell their personal used items in the streets, were also held in many places. Children’s games and simply having a drink with friends were also on the programme. Most of the visitors went to the city centre on their bicycles. There were parked bicycles as far as the eye could see just outside of that city centre.
The weather forecast had been very bad, but on the day itself it was much better than expected. It seems many people hadn’t made plans and decided in the final moment to cycle to the city centre after all. The cycleways were full of people. And as per tradition most people were dressed in at least something in the colour orange! The blue skies, the fresh green of spring and that splash of orange made looking at all those people cycling a joy. Naturally I recorded it… So enjoy the video!
Cycling to the King’s Day festivities in ʼs-Hertogenbosch