On Monday the 27th of April you would have gone out on the street and celebrate Kingsday with the rest of the Netherlands. Sadly there won’t be a traditional Kingsday this year… One of the most classic Dutch festivities had to be cancelled. However, as Kingsday this year might not be an as classical, out on the street and all orange kind of celebration, this doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate a little.
Alternatives have been set up to still celebrate, although it is in a little different from normal. But let’s start with what the normal celebration would have looked like. On Koningsdag (Dutch for Kingsday), we celebrate the king’s birthday. It is an official holiday, so even people who’re not a fan of the royal family (or monarchy in general) are happy with it. It a day where all of the Netherlands turns orange. Everyone dresses up in Orange clothing, goes out on the streets that are decorated with orange flags and such and you eat orange pastries. In short, everything is orange. There are a couple of traditional things that are happening, like the flea markets. In every city centre in the Netherlands, there would have been blankets on the ground with people (and often children) selling random things, making music or doing magic tricks for a little money. Most of the stuff on sale might be junk found in the house, but there are some good things in there if you look for it. This year, there will be an online flee market if you want to have a look.
After the flee market, you would normally go to one of the bigger squares with music and have a beer (or two). This is not really possible this year, but you can drink a beer from your house and see what everyone else would be doing. A platform has been created where you can post and watch vidoe’s of what everyone else is doing all through the country. They are calling it a virtual square where you can still celebrate Kingsday form a distance.
Once you had finished your beer you would probably walk around a little and have a look at what was happening everywhere. Normally you would find a lot of live music on the streets. This year there will be concerts online for the elderly but also just in general.
So even though you can’t have the full experience, there is still some way to feel part of this amazing day. Go put on your most orange outfit, turn on those live streams, try to sing along with the Dutch music and grab a beer. This is a festive day, let’s keep it that way!