The most happening day in Amsterdam is just around the corner. King’s Day is celebrated on April 27, marking the birthday of the present King of Netherlands. The celebrations beginon the eve and continue till the wee hours of the next morning. Thousands of tourists pour in to take part in the festivity. Last year, I witnessed this gala event for the first time, and without a doubt, it was the craziest day in Amsterdam.
To begin, everything you look around is orange: Orange T-shirts, orange pants, orange dresses and orange accessories. Orange is the color of the royal house. People drink, dance, and celebrate like there’s no tomorrow. This is one of the biggest open parties on earth. And the ambience is electrifying. There is intoxicating music in every nook and corner of the streets, and there are dance floors, where anyone is free to go up and shake a leg. While streets are jam packed with people everywhere, the canals are nowhere behind. There is music and dance in the canals too, right on the boats. Most of the bigger DJ parties have been moved to the outskirts because of the huge influx of people into the city center. However, the smaller ones remain intact. Street markets spread out all over, including children’s market in Vondel Park, the most popular park in Amsterdam. This is also the only day in Amsterdam where people are literally allowed to litter the roads with beer cans and bottles. Beer sellers and grocery stores, however, allow the purchase of only one beer per person, so as to limit consumption.
A funfair takes center stage at Dam Square right in front of the Royal Palace, during the days that precedes this special day. There are various fancy rides for children as well as adults, and kiosks with sinful tit-bits, from hot dogs to waffles to fries. The tompouce or tompoes, a type of pastry in the Netherlands, is colored orange, especially for King’s Day. There are plenty of game counters too. Any fair is incomplete without a huge giant wheel, and it is definitely an inherent part of this funfair too. And since it is also the season of tulips in the month of April, the entire area is also adorned with large pots full of tulips. This is the most vibrant and jovial time of the year in Amsterdam. And the experience is definitely worth it. You need to see it to believe it.