Dutch traditions; Kings Day

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Maybe you’ve been wondering why all Dutchies are suddenly looking even less fashionable than usual (orange, red, white and blue aren’t my typical color combination). There is a reason though why we are dressed in the colors of our country. The Dutch aren’t really nationalistic people, only when it comes to two occasions; football, and Kingsday!

You might have heard about Queens Day, well we changed it for Kingsday. Monday the 27th we celebrate the birthday of our king Willem-Alexander. Celebrating our king of course has to be done the dutch way; drinking beer, yelling, partying, drinking more beer and wearing whatever is orange. Do we actually do something more than just getting drunk in honor of our king? No, not really.

Except though if you are a kid, or a parent. It’s a tradition to have some sort of giant outdoors flea market. Take a blanket, put it somewhere throw your stuff on it and you’re ready to sell. As a kid I spent queens day wandering around the Vondel Park buying stuffed animals for a couple of cents. meanwhile my mum was desperately trying to get rid of my giant collection of toys by selling them at the same park.

If there’s one thing queens day has thought me it’s that we Dutchies aren’t such nice people. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT expect to walk into the park and just pick a spot to sell from on kings day morning. If you do this you are very likely to get into a fight with an exhausted mum, deciding what to sell and bringing it all to the park has worn her out, who’s claimed her spot weeks ago and you happen to be on it. The fact that her kid is right behind her won’t stop the typical dutch mum from yelling at you (swearwords included). The only thing to do now is to sadly walk away, realize that every spot has been claimed long before you were even thinking about kings day and cheer yourself up by buying some of the homemade treats kids are selling.

Of course I’m way to old for that now so I’ll be at one of the many festivals we have in honor of Kingsday. Sadly the weather isn’t that nice so instead of my neatly chosen orange outfit I’ll be wearing a ‘sort of’ orange colored sweater with many sweaters underneath. If you don’t get the picture yet, imagine a pumpkin with my head and legs sticking out.

As I am a certified yeller I can at least fulfill at least one of our Dutch duties, think I can manage the partying as well. Sadly due to my gluten intolerance I won’t be downing beers, maybe it’s for the better.

Preparations have been going on for some days now meaning that huge amounts of fences filled up city center, seems like they didn’t realize anyone can climb over them. Also, statues have been covered by wooden boxes to protect them and fountains have been turned off. When the Dutch party, nothing is safe.

So, what can you expect? Stressed out mums racing around on their over filled bakfietsen(dutch transport bikes), you’ve got to get your goods around somehow. Lots of people dressed in orange, red-white-blue or gold. Empty beer bottles everywhere and of course a lot of Dutch gezelligheid!

Oh and don’t be surprised if you walk into a lion, it’s our nations animal.

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