Dutch Language Blog

You are cordially invited to celebrate the King’s Birthday Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Culture

For over 130 years, the Dutch have been happily celebrating Queen’s/King’s Day with big parties, lots of orange and parades. The monarch’s birthday is not only a day to celebrate but also one of the few national holidays the country observes.

King’s Day in the Netherlands (photograph taken by Jannes Glas found on Flickr.com)

So what can you do at this year’s Koningsdag?

This year, King Willem-Alexander turns 50 and has invited 150 Dutch people who share his birthday (April 27) and will have a kroonjaar or in other words are celebrating a decade or half-decade birthday (20, 35, 55, 80 etc.). The invitation on the royal website reads something like this:

Zijne Majesteit de Koning nodigt ter gelegenheid van zijn 50ste verjaardag 150 Nederlanders uit voor een feestelijk diner op vrijdagavond 28 april 2017 op het Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam. Na het diner wordt het Paleis 50 uur onafgebroken opengesteld voor het publiek. Hare Majesteit Koningin Máxima is ook aanwezig tijdens de avond.

The dinner will take place at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam (on Damn Square) on April 28th, 2017.

But if dining with the royals is not your thing (or you are not celebrating a kroonjaar on April 27), there are plenty of other activities around the country.


If you have a garage or attic full of knick knacks and stuff you don’t need, you can take these to the vrijmarkten in almost all cities to sell. This is a great way to get some money for your old junk and take part in a very traditional King’s Day activity. The video below has some useful tips for those wishing to sell.

Koningsdag op de grachten

If you plan on going to King’s Day Central (i.e. Amsterdam), you can celebrate on a boat on the canals of Amsterdam. Traffic gets pretty bad on the canals, and you might just be floating on one spot, but, what can be more Dutch than wearing your best orange gear while drinking beer on an Amsterdam canal!


Throughout the country, there will be plenty of parties, festivals and such to celebrate the King. Although the most popular are in Amsterdam, the other big cities in the country have plenty to offer on this King’s day!

Where will you celebrate koningsdag?

Useful Vocabulary

koning– king
kroonjaar– birthday in multiples of 10
uitnodigen- to invite
vieren– to celebrate
aanmelden– to register
gezelschap- party, company
spulllen– things, objects
wisselen– to change
verkopen– to sell
verkoper– seller
onderhandelen– to negotiate
presenteren– to present
eenvoudig– simple
gastvrij– hospitable

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!