Dutch Queen’s Day: It is well known that our Dutch neighbors have a weakness for the color orange. On April 30, the country’s national holiday – which is also celebrated by the special communities in the Caribbean, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Aruba – the whole nation wears orange, which is also the color of the royal family of Orange. Why? As a so-called Koninginnedag(German Queen’s Day or Queen’s Day) the whole country celebrates the Queen’s birthday with parades, concerts and folk festivals. And that has been since 1889. The year 2013, however, represented a turning point in the history of the Dutch monarchy. After 33 years of reign, the then reigning Queen Beatrix handed over the crown to her son Willem-Alexander and thus this April 30th embodies the last for the time being Koninginnedag. Reason enough to include this event in the calendar of curious holidays from around the world and to tell its story below.
A brief history of the Dutch Queen’s Day
As mentioned at the beginning, the first celebration of Koninginnedag goes back to the year 1889, more precisely on August 31st. The reason for this was the birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, which is why this curious holiday was initially also celebrated as Princess Day. The aim here was to strengthen the national unity of the country and with this holiday to replace the numerous local harvest festivals in favor of a nationwide event. With the coronation of Wilhelmina as queen, this day was renamed Koninginnedag in 1890. It was not until Queen Juliana ascended the throne in 1948 that the date was moved to her birthday, April 30th. This date was also retained by the reigning Queen Beatrix, who continued April 30 as the national holiday of the Netherlands in memory of her mother.
From Koninginnedag to Koningsdag: Beatrix hands over the crown to her son Willem-Alexander
On January 28, 2013, Beatrix announced that she would abdicate after more than 30 years of reign and hand over the throne to her eldest son Willem-Alexander, the Prince of Orange-Nassau. The official abdication of Beatrix and the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander will take place on April 30, 2013 in the Amsterdam Coronation Church Nieuwe Kerk. Accordingly, today’s celebrations are the last Koninginnedag for the time being, because from 2014 the Dutch national holiday will fall on April 27th, Willem-Alexander’s birthday, and will be known as Koningsdag(German King’s Day or Day of the King) celebrated. But where there is a rule, an exception is quickly found. In this specific case, this means: Because April 27, 2014 is a Sunday, the celebrations will be brought forward to Saturday, April 26. The Dutch are unlikely to be bothered by this.
A country shows color (…) and that is orange
On the occasion of the Dutch Queen’s Day and the Day of National Unity, the whole country seems to be wrapped in orange: orange clothes, flags, garlands on the houses, etc. If you haven’t seen it yourself, it’s hard to believe. But in fact, this holiday is celebrated throughout the country with a lot of devotion, numerous concerts, parades and folk festivals and – and of course lots of orange. And that in many cities on the eve of March 30th, the so-called Koninginnenacht. Since the mid-1990s, however, there have been more and more problems and disputes due to excessive alcohol during the celebrations – especially in the country’s major cities. Accordingly, Beatrix issued in 2009 that alcohol could only be served from 11:30 a.m. in order to limit this problem.
And who can not do anything of you so that, for / offering April 30 with the US Raisin Day , the day of oatmeal cookies or the day honesty or the World Day of Jazz a number calendrical alternatives.
In this sense: A belated Happy Birthday from the former Queen Beatrix. And a great Koninginnedag to you all .