Sunday, April 24, 2016

Happy Kingsday Dutchies // Koningsdag 2016

In a few days time the entire country will turn orange again while Dutch people celebrate Kingsday. On the 27th of April Holland celebrates the birthday of our King. All shop windows, supermarked candy and fashion boutiques show off their orange collection this week. Slowly everything will turn into orange. If you are visiting Holland during this period for the first time make sure you know what to do, how to behave and what to wear.

Fleamarkeds and under age street musicians
Kingsday is the day to get rid of old junk. It is the only day of the year where you can get rid of old toys and worn down clothes and actually make money. Street musicians are everywhere sometimes 5 year old kids are playing in the street earn a little something and small games and activities are created to bring in some change to spend on candy the next day. During Kingsday most of the shops are closed. It is the biggest and most celebrated holiday of the country so businesses are shut down so everyone can celebrate this quirky day. Even the entire Royal family is out in the town to celebrate, have a drink and take part in typical Dutch games.

Beer & Orange
If you decide to celebrate Kingsday make sure you don't walk the streets on a empty stomach. Beer is served everywhere but you can see groups of people in the streets and parks drink from their own stash too, they will offer you drinks and before you know it you are struggling to stay on your feet even though it's only 2 in the afternoon.
If you like to be ridiculed on the street you should not wear orange. You will be the joke of town. Make sure you add something orange to your wardrobe. Groups of drunk Dutchies can be very enjoying when they decide you are not wearing enough of this national color. Spray paint your hair, add some orange lipstick or get yourself a cheap orange t-shirt that can be bought in every single clothing shop in the days leading to this party. If it is not over the top orange, it is not good enough!

Where to go?
Kingsday is celebrated in every city and every small town. If you are up to big parties do celebrate this day in Amsterdam. One huge mass of people will turn the city into one giant party. If you like a party but want a little escape go celebrate Kingsday in the South, Brabant. My all time favorite place in Breda. The city center turns into a dance party around noon and if you like to escape the people you can walk to the city park, do some vintage (junk) shopping and grab a drink just outside of the city center where terraces are a little more quiet.
Not good with masses of people? Go visit a small town and see how locals entertain themselves with typical Dutch games and activities on the street. Here are some very typical and interesting activities you might bump into.

Koekhappen - Cookie biting game
Your hands will be tied on your back and without any help you will have to eat and finish this traditional dutch baked cookie that is hanging on a rope just above your head. If you win, finish the cookie first, well, it is all about the honor...

Spijkerpoepen - Nail pooping game
As a kid this was my favorite game. A string holding a nail will be tied around your waist. The nail will be hanging from your back in between your legs. You will have to try and get the nail into the narrow neck of a bottle. It sounds easy but it's hard work!

Zaklopen - Walking the bag
This game is very popular among kids. You will have to crawl into an empty potato bag and run track. Walking in a bag is not easy and can be very painful and I won't recommend it. I sure don't want to break a leg during Kingsday but if you want to take the challenge, I did warn you!