It is the Orange King’s Birthday!

This week’s Daily Post  theme for the Photo Challenge is Orange. Well, not a difficult one considering that I live in The Netherlands. Orange is the name, and color of the Royal family of the Netherlands (Het Huis van Oranje-Nassau). And orange is the color that most people relate to the Dutch sports’ teams, although the national flag has horizontal blue, white and red lines (often confused with the French flag, which has the same colors but vertical).
However, it is in April of each year that the nation dresses orange. It is a very special holiday, which is lavishly celebrated. It is The King’s Day! It is his birthday.
To give you a flavor of the day, I will share (not very good quality) photos, and an (even more amateurish quality) video, and a bit of the history of this day. I took this photos with an iPhone 4 back in 2013, when joining the party by boat in Amsterdam, to celebrate the last Queen’s Day and the coronation of the new King Willem Alexander.

I’m posting for Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge‘s theme Orange.

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” King’s Day (formerly Queen’s Day) festivities invite locals and visitors alike to soak up Amsterdam’s open-air fun. In the streets, canals, parks and everywhere in between, the city is bursting with orange as Amsterdammers enjoy the biggest street party of the year.

Amidst orange-pride, live music, DJs, parties and a citywide street market, you’ll find an electric atmosphere not to be missed. The next King’s Day will be celebrated on Monday, 27 April 2015.

History of King’s Day (and Queen’s Day)

Amsterdam celebrated King’s Day (Koningsdag) for the first time in 2014, after the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander on 30 April 2013 (what was then still Queen’s Day).

The royal celebrations were first held on 31 August 1885 in honour of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina, and the Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) tradition was born. After Wilhelmina’s daughter (Juliana) succeeded to the throne in 1949, the day was changed to 30 April in accordance with the new Queen’s birthday.

King’s Day: 27 April 2015

When she became queen, the now Princess Beatrix chose to retain the day in honour of her mother but as of 2014, King’s Day will officially be celebrated on 27 April (the king’s birthday).

The name may have changed slightly but the festive spirit of the day is sure to remain! You’ll be treated to a sea of orange as everyone – and their pet – is covered head to toe in oranje (orange) as a show of pride for the Dutch Royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau.

Every year, the royal entourage visits a town or municipality in the Netherlands as part of the celebrations. The royal family visited two locations in 2014 – after calling by Graft-De Rijp, they headed to Amstelveen.

Citywide street sale

As a city built on trade, Amsterdammers love to haggle and bargain. The vrijmarkt (literally ‘free market’) gives everyone and their mum the chance to sell their second-hand things on the streets and parks of Amsterdam, creating one of the world’s largest flea markets.

And it’s not only second-hand wares on offer – plenty of food stalls spring up to fuel your bargain hunting frenzy!

Family fun

Aside from children being able to try their hand at trading on King’s Day, there are also plenty more activities taking place across the city for the young and young at heart including face-painting, games and sports events.

King’s Night & Day parties

King’s Day is a public holiday but certainly not a day of rest. The Dutch, expats and tourists alike flock to Amsterdam for a day of celebration. The fun traditionally begins on the eve of the big day (King’s Night) with the carnival atmosphere continuing throughout the city on King’s Day. DJs play parties on public squares, brightly decorated boats fill canals and live music spills onto streets from cafe patios.

King’s Day on the canals

Never has gridlock traffic been so much fun! On King’s Day, thousands of brightly decorated boats pack the narrow Amsterdam canals. The next best thing to being on one of the boats is watching – and dancing – from one of the many bridges.”

 Source: I amsterdam – Amsterdam City Marketing


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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do when I want.

117 thoughts on “It is the Orange King’s Birthday!

  1. Oh I’m so glad you posted more about King’s Day!! Looks like a bunch of fun, especially the boat parade on the canal, complete with bubbles and techno music!! Love it!
    Thanks for sharing this history with us:)

    Liked by 1 person

            1. I loved the country because I like hiking but as a foreigner, it was the most unwelcoming place I have ever lived.
              The Dutch are open, friendly and easy going. Much easier to adapt and feel home.
              I met my husband in 2005 and that also made me settle here.
              But I’m still a no land woman.


                    1. It is just your paper half so it does not count. Now, I should ask you for your astrological sign and the year of birth 😀


                    2. I think you might have mentioned it before and I believe I said I did not like Gemini 😀 Well, I can always change my mind. I am Aquarius. No, I should not be surprised at all – only Gemini would stand for my interrogation 😆 and it explains your versatility, your impressive career path, and interest in different cultures. Besides you are an early Gemini – I prefer that kind to later ones 😀


                    3. I guess we talked about that before and I’m honored that you haven’t yet expelled me from your blog!!
                      I’m counting on your ability to change your mind. 😉
                      Is that true about the interrogation and Gemini?
                      I just trust you. Gut feeling.
                      How could I not answer to the questions of a highly intelligent, curious, insightful and sensitive person like you?
                      Just so you know, my ascendant is Capricorn…


                    4. Ouch, mine is Taurus :D. Lucile, now seriously – I am a very open person and I’ll tell you the whole truth – I really don’t know any Dutch persons except for you, and maybe some chance blogger-commenter, and besides you are Dutch in paper only, but I don’t have enough information to make a judgement if I like them or not. Orange is not my favourite colour so I doubt very much that I would parade in orange wig if I lived there, but I could see myself on a boat taking pics of the party folk :D. About Gemini – I had very good friends in that sign, and my boss who tolerates me beyond explication is a Gemini, so they suit me fine :D. I just don’t like them when they are a blood relation.


                    5. Taurus is an interesting sign. Have long lasting friends.
                      Then you still don’t know a truly Dutch person!
                      Difficult to generalize about nationalities and behaviors without running the risk of being biased and make use of caricatures.
                      You should come once for the party. You’re invited to stay with us. It’s like being in a zoo photographing all sort of animals. I haven’t yet had time to work in the photos I made this year but I may soon post them.
                      You have good experiences with Gemini, so I think I passed the


                    6. 😀 Thank you for your hospitality Lucile 🙂 I would love to meet you sometimes, but I like to stay in hotels. Once I did meet a Dutch weirdo, but no, it is not in my habit to generalize ever 😉


                    7. 😀 🙂 Dutch would not invite me – that’s great 🙂 There is a general belief that Dutch are cheap 😀 – (I did not say it) I am happy I can joke with you about that. Who knows .. if you were full Dutch, that may not have been possible 😀


                    8. I’ll share a personal story.
                      After one year living together, my Dutch husband told me that our house had as many guests as he had had an entire life!
                      I’m the social beast of the couple. I have many friends and like to receive them at home.
                      Yes the fame is justified. Not a joke. But we can joke about it!
                      My husband is from Friesland, a province in the northeastern part of the country, which has its own language and not a dialect. He feels Frisian first then Dutch. He would join us laughing.


                    9. P.S. Taurus is just my antecedent, my sun sign is Aquarius, but both signs cherish friendships. Capricorns are ambitious and stubborn, more stubborn than Taurus 😀


                    10. From being a vicious ambitious corporate animal. I’ve worked in global companies and held global roles, so it was easy to become absolutely ambitious if I had been a pure Capricorn.


                    11. I believe it to be true 🙂 I forgot about all your training – I remember you had a degree in psychology and a few more degrees. Do you think of yourself as an overachiever?


                    12. Yes, psychology, MBA, etc.
                      No I don’t feel like that.
                      I haven’t even dreamed nor made plans for what I achieved in my career.
                      Serendipity played a role there.
                      I worked hard and loved what I did and had the luck to work with great bosses who believed in my ideas. That worked well and brought me to all these places.
                      Corporate life is tough though. The higher you go the more political and toxic it becomes.
                      That’s what made me want to get out of it. Had seen, been, done. No need to go any higher nor further.
                      Changed career path and life style.
                      Otherwise we wouldn’t even be chatting here as I would have been somewhere flying to another continent.


                    13. You were working in HR I believe? What exactly do you do now? Sorry if I did not remember it all. I do remember about your neck injury and was meaning to ask if you feel ok now and if you still do yoga?


                    14. Yes, HR. I’m a transformation and change consultant. I solve problems. Lol.
                      The neck injury is chronic. But I cope well with it. And yes, daily yoga.
                      What a memory you have!


                    15. What kind of transformation and changes are we talking about – not career changes? Do you have your own practice? Still does not sound like an interview? How about this… is this your first marriage?


                    16. Business change. It can be a merger or acquisition, a reorganization, a process change, leadership change, culture change. Etc
                      I have my practice but I’m also part of another practice with some other partners when we do projects together.
                      Yes it’s an interview.
                      Please don’t ask about my strengths and weaknesses lol
                      No it’s my 2nd. The first came with a defect. Lol
                      Married a college sweetheart and we had a 10 year relationship but living together was short lived as I was married to my career first.


                    17. Taurus. No, I don’t (we don’t – by choice not by infertility). I don’t have cats either – cats I don’t like, kids I like fine, just decided not to bother with them.


                    18. I love your answer. I never wanted kids and didn’t miss them. It’s nice to be a stepmother because we’re like friends as I play no mother’s role.
                      I knew why I like you. I can’t stand cats.


                    19. I lost a follower tonight – I don’t watch stats, but I noticed cause it was a cool number – it wasn’t you, was it?


                    20. 😀 Let me see how I feel about this …. OK, shoot. Born in 1967, he is an IT specialist, we live in the capital of Croatia, Zagreb.


                    21. I also didn’t get this one. Went to spam as well.
                      That’s why the conversation stopped. I thought you had gone to sleep.
                      Thanks for replying.
                      I have been three times in Croatia but via Venice and visiting the coast. Your country is beautiful. I have it in my must return list.


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