27th of April. The day on which everyone gathers on the streets while wearing a full-on orange outfit finished off with a crazy hat. It must be difficult to an international to figure out what this fuss is about. “We celebrate Willem!” is an explanation you might hear. But, do not expect more explanation than that. To help you out; this article is about King's Day and how to spend this mandatory day off.
History of King's Day
Before I bombard you with celebration ideas, let’s dive into the history of King’s Day. King's Day used to be Queen’s Day, ‘Koninginnedag’ in Dutch (yes, I also have trouble pronouncing that word). It was firstly held as Princess-day to celebrate the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina on 31st of August 1885. Years later, the princess became queen and in 1891 the first official Queen's Day was celebrated. After years of tradition, the day became a national folk feast and even, after switching the dates, a day off to the larger deal of citizens. This is the reason why Dutchies love it; an enjoyable day to party and hangout with your beloved close ones.
A Packed City Centre
Currently, King's Day has many ways to be filled in. The most budget friendly way is to spend the day in the city you live in. Invite your friends over or take yourself on a date. Your city, or even village, is most definitely packed with flea markets. Stroll past many KLEEDJES to find your treasure between all the nonsense. You don’t even have to buy anything and enjoy yourself with people-watching: from the chaotic kids to the cute grandma on her chair. Furthermore, you will find places with amateur bands performing on the streets, mini performance plays, and if you are lucky someone who paints the view.
Possibilities at Home
Are you more a homebody that likes to chill in the sun? Organizing a barbeque is for sure a nice option. Invite your friends or housemates over for a hangout with good food. Not really into grill? Another option is to all prepare dishes that you like best and share with each other. You can play board games, chat till the sun sets, or consider funny traditional games such as 'spijkerpoepen' (Want to understand this traditional game? Check out this short video; Spijkerpoepen!). Play some nice music and chill on behalf of Willyl! 😉
Party Like A King
Are you a real party animal? Numerous festivals are being held on King's Day. Almost every city organises enormous parties. Often different stages are on the location. If you already know what music genre makes you go crazy, many festivals have already a theme which will suit you and attract the same type of people. You could go to ‘Oranjebloesem’ if you are a techno lover and for house and hardstyle ‘Kingdance’ and ‘Supersized King's Day’ are good options. Do you prefer more the party music, typical bangers, or a mix of genres? Plenty of options such as Radio538 held in our beautiful city Breda and Royal Dutch which is a free festival in Eindhoven. Regardless your destination, the venues are impressively large, and the ambiance goes through the roof.
Your Crazy Orange Fit
Lastly, what to wear? Our royal family is called Van Oranje as part of the family name. That is how orange has become our national colour! Find a cool orange outfit since merging with the orange crowd is a must. However, standing out with some extra effort is highly appreciated. You could wear a simple orange t-shirt (such as the BUas intro-camp shirt;) ), a Dutch football shirt, or buy something fancy in the colour orange. Apart from orange, a red-white-blue combination is a very good alternative. Add some face paint, those little Dutch flags, glitter, and orange accessories. Top it off with a fun hair accessory such as the typical orange cowboy hat and you are ready to rock the day. Nothing is too crazy; some even tie a Dutch flag around their shoulders!
In conclusion, King's Day can be seen as a mandatory party day. You celebrate the king and the royal house, however in reality, you celebrate life with the sun and great music. Your orange outfit is crucial and required for every type of activity you will be a part of. Enjoy this typical Dutch celebration and let us know how you experienced it!