Monday, April 28, 2014

The First Ever King's Day in the Netherlands

Yes, you heard that right...and I was here to witness it "live" with Astrid this past Saturday in Gorinchem as well as on Dutch TV.

This is the collage I posted on my Facebook Saturday and this is what I said:
Holland's first ever King's Day is official Dutch holiday. Talk about a party! King Willem-Alexander is the first Dutch king since 1890. Before him were 3 queens: his mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Though the Dutch flag is red, white and blue, the Dutch royal family comes from the House of Nassau-Orange. So ORANGE is the color of the day! Guess what my favorite color is?!

I sure hope you like ORANGE!

 Someone on FB asked why the Dutch flag isn't orange?
Here's the thing:  the Dutch flag has been red, white, and blue since long before Dutch royalty.
Dutch royalty is from the House of Nassau-Orange since 1815.
So, on only certain royal birthdays is the orange banner flown next to the flag.
Willem-Alexander's birthday is April 27th, which was yesterday, Sunday.
But when the birthday falls on a Sunday, it's celebrated on the Saturday before it.

Now then....ENJOY!
The first ever King's Day as seen in Gorinchem, NL, where we live.

It's a party, a show, a feast...and a flea market on the streets.
If you want to sell something, pull up a table or blanket and just sell it.
You don't even need a permit.

For good luck, it might help to wear ORANGE.

 The crazier the better, and a nice smile, of course!

The lion is in the Dutch Coat of Arms, by the way.
He makes such a cute mascot.

To be honest, instead of getting tired of orange, it has become my best favorite color.
I see it everywhere I go.

 My Nikon Lady (Astrid) met an old friend, Marja, selling stuff with her grandkids.
The last time we saw her was at our wedding 4 years ago!
It's a small world after all.

 The highlight of the day for us was this folk group from Utrecht, wearing the costume 
from the Zeeland Westkapelle. They are called Pieremachochel, dancing to live music.

See how Astrid and I fit right in!  We love to dance, you know.

So does this little fella!

Later we saw them taking a break at our favorite ice cream shop.

We're not dumb; we took a break, too.
(Apricot was the closest color to orange, so that was my choice for the day.)

King's Day is here to long as Willem-Alexander is King.
Guess who's next in line?  Yup, his first of 3 daughters, Amalia...another queen.
Long live the King...or Queen!


  1. How FUN! Oh my...a photographer's dream! Is that a Virginia Tech tshirt you have on? LOVE it!

    1. A photographer's mdream, indeed, Robin. You would do wonders with it.

      The shirt is actually from the University of Virginia, where my dad went to university in his day. The Virginia Cavaliers' colors are navy blue and orange: Because the shirt is a deep orange, I just had to buy it...and that was before I knew I would live in the Netherlands! :)

  2. Did somebody say Orange.... this is awesome. It looks like 'St. Patrick's Day' but then in Orange..... and Patrick is King Willem-Alexander......
    Wonderful collages of all the things we saw. Seeing Marja was great, we just went off where we left. That is how it goes, we know each other already for almost 40 years.....
    A fun day, as always. Everybody makes their own party, I hope this tradition will stay.

    1. What a great analogy to St. Patrick's Day and the color green.... I love it. Let's hope you don't have to wait another 4 years before seeing Marja again, but then, they just flew by, didn't they. You really DID pick up from where you last left off! What a fun day and tradition. I can definitely handle it one day a year.

  3. how fun to be a part of the founding of a tradition :)

    i see orange people. love the color orange. it's the color of our baseball team, the sf giants (orange & black) so we see a lot of orange people here too.

    1. Orange is a good color for many places around the world, Maria, for sure. I love it. And yes, it's great being in a a new celebration. How fun for us both.

  4. Looks like great fun, but be careful how you love your orange in Ireland. The last shot is perfect! Hmmm, for some reason I feel like some orange juice.

    1. LOL about Ireland, Ted. I remember seeing a LOT of orange paint there, now that I think of it. :) And of course, there's a great green color of paint that is used on houses all over the Netherlands. Hmmmm. I think there's a story there? :)

      Some OJ sounds good right about now...I agree....

  5. I enjoyed your portrayal of the new holiday. The children will grow up with it as a tradition. How wonderful. I know one other person who's favorite colour is orange - my DIL's mom. She is from England.

    I am always amazed at the familiar faces I see in your blogs. PEI has a large Dutch/Belgian population and the faces of the many people I know look like the faces on your blog. I love that it is so recognizable.

    1. The Dutch are so used to April 30th as being the Queen's Day celebration and are a bit peeved that Willem-Alexander didn't keep the same day to honor his grandmother, as Queen Beatrix did her mother. In other words, the precedent had already been set. So easy-peasy. But no, I guess changing the holiday to April 27th made more sense because he's the first KING in such a long time. Gotta make everyone sit up and take notice?!

      Anyway, yes, I love that there's a distinct Dutch look on these faces. And so many Dutch people are very tall, so you can almost always pick them out in a crowd. Yes, that's fun!

  6. I love orange!! and the fun radiating from your collages. :)

    To have a king's period must be a change after and before all the queens for sure. I wonder how people accept the royalty in the Netherlands - when I see those participating in the King's day, it seems that many people enjoyed that occasion and expressed thus their acceptance and support.

    BTW, your orange Virginia T-shirt sort of indicates international popularity of the royal family, that made me smile. In a very positive way. :)

    1. The Dutch are so used to royaly, Petra, that I don't know what they'd do without it, even if sometimes they complain about the expense. At the end of the day, I think they're proud of their country and who represents them!

      I love orange, too, and am in the right country for me. HA! And to think my dad went to the University of Virginia in his day and prepared me for the color. I love the thought of it. I bet he's smiling, too. :)

      Thank you for your beautiful comment!

  7. I have always wanted to visit on the Orange in Syracuse the University is known as the Orange so we are very into orange here....

    1. Oh, yes, Donna. I know all about the orange of Syracuse University. I have a male friend in Atlanta who graduated from there! :)