27 April - King's Day
Why do Dutch people celebrate King's Day?
The story begins with Wilhelmina, Juliana, and Beatrix's celebration of Princess's Day or Koninginnedag. But then, Beatrix's son, Willem-Alexander, took the throne (the first king since the observance of the national holiday). As a result, the festival was renamed Koningsdag beginning in 2014, and the celebration was relocated three days earlier to April 27, the King's birthday.
How do Dutch people celebrate King's Day?
Everyone is invited to the King's birthday celebration! The city is flooded in orange as Amsterdamers celebrate the most incredible street party of the year in the streets, canals, parks, and everywhere. On King's Day, people can sell goods on the street without a permit. Flea ('free') markets are organized in parks and on the streets, with many people selling their old items, music, or other forms of entertainment. The flea markets in Utrecht even begin the night before King's Day.
Where to celebrate King's Day?
Most towns and cities (Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, and Utrecht) usually have fairground rides and music events planned, with many beginning on King's Day eve, or King's Night (Koningsnacht), on April 26. In addition, there are a variety of DJ events and parties hosted around the Netherlands. Top Dutch and international DJs will perform at Kingsland Festival Amsterdam and Kingsland Festival Den Bosch.
HOLIDAYS AWAY FROM HOME
For an international student, the prospect of spending the holidays away from home, and in a foreign country can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. But if you are able to open your heart and mind to new adventures, the Netherlands, can be a winter wonderland – without the snow (much needed disclaimer 😊). Below I will share some must tries to make your first winter in the Netherlands Memorable.
5 December - Sinterklaas day
Much like Santa Claus, Sinterklaas also known as Saint Nicholas is dear to both children and adults alike in the Netherlands. He looks a lot like the traditional Santa Claus with his red mitre and white long beard. There is a whole spectacle surrounding his arrival from Mid- November. His arrival is broadcasted on national television. He makes his grand entrance on a steamboat filled with gifts, assisted by helpers all called “Piet”. Usually he visits all the municipalities, so local events are held to celebrate. Sinterklaas day is December 5th, so you and your new friends get to exchange gifts twice in the Year!
Sweets, Sweets, and more Sweets …
Christmas season world over is the time to cheat on your diet… and indulge in all things sweet and savoury. The top two must try desserts are the Pepernoten and Oliebollen. Pepernoten is a Dutch cookie-like confectionary associated with Sinterklaas holiday. They come in several different shapes, but my personal favourite are those covered in chocolate. The Oliebollen are a traditional Dutch donut traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve. During winter, adorable bright lit stalls are set up around street corners. The scent of these treats floating through the crisp winter air adds to the warmth of the season. Last but not least, don’t forget to pick up a Lindt advent chocolate calendar, because well chocolate makes everything better.
The TU Delft website student portal also has a number of options for winter activities to keep the students social and active during the holiday season and all throughout winter. With the corona restrictions of only two people meeting outdoors, TU Delft organized some easily accessible activities like the Walk and Talk, Meet new friends and even outdoor winter sports to allow students to meet and connect in twos. Check out the website for more details.
There is also the Uni-life app which can be downloaded got IOS and Android where you can discover new student events, find communities on campus that much your interests and meet lifelong friends.