Tomorrow is a national holiday in my country, Kingsday! It is our King’s birthday.
I went to Wikipedia to find out when it started. It started way, way back. In 1885 was a Princessday on behalf of Princess Wilhelmina, she became 5 years old. In 1891, after death of her father it became Queensday, even though she had a regent until she turned 18. It was celebrated on her birthday, 31 Augustus.
It wasn’t a national celebration yet. Those who were against monarchy celebrated Day of Labour, 1 May. After Second World War it became one national celebration. During the years, it became a holiday for the children because for grownups still had to work. Slowly over the years more and more companies gave people a day off on Queensday. That is how it became a national holiday.
In 1949 was a new Queen, Juliana and her birthday was on 30 April. That became a national holiday, Queensday. With her a new tradition started. Every year people went to her palace and gave her flowers. In the fifties people were be able to follow that on TV. In the country were little traditional games organised for the children.
In 1981 we had a new queen, Beatrix. She decided to celebrate Queensday on her mother’s birthday, because her own birthday was in January. Another reason she wanted to on 30 April was that her coronation was on 30 April 1980 and also to honour her mother. She celebrated differently than her mother. She went out to one or two towns, every year a different town. She goes with her family. People can show off their local products and other things. It was always a big happening and people could watch it live on TV. It was fun because the Royal Family plays along with games, talk with people, just a relaxing day. And it is also great to see everywhere orange.
On 30 April 2013 was King’s coronation. Since 2014 it became Kingsday and it is on his birthday 27 April. The national holiday is now three days earlier. He only visits one town with his family. He also introduced Kingsgames. It is a sport day at schools and the children will play different kind of games. King attends to one of those schools.
I really had to get used to the fact that we don’t call it Queensday anymore, but Kingsday and in a way it just doesn’t sounds right yet. Funny part was that in 2014 lots of tourists came the Netherlands to celebrate Queensday, but sadly just miss out the party for it was held for the first time on 27 April and it was Kingsday. Maybe not funny for them but it was funny to see them wearing all orange and there was nothing to celebrate.
Anyway, Happy Kingsday!