Today is King’s Day in the Netherlands. At the very least, it is a nice day off! It celebrates the birthday of King Willem-Alexander, although most people use it as an excuse to head into town and enjoy a lot of good music and alcohol. (Seriously, walking into the local supermarket, the first thing on display was six-packs of beer. They know where their money is made!)
Dutch flags on display for the holiday with the Grote Kerk (“Big Church”) in the background.
You can also check out the King’s Day Google doodle. The doodle celebrates tompouces, a pastry which is normally pink. Unless it is King’s Day, and then it is bright orange.
Chilly but sunny start to King’s Day after a busy night of partying from dutchnews.nl. The day before King’s Day is known as King’s Night and most of the major cities have music festivals. For instance last night The Hague had The Life I Live festival in the city centre.
There are two main activities on King’s Day: 1) The king and his family always visits one city each year. This year was Rotterdam. 2) A lot of cities have “free markets” (Vrijmarkten) which is basically a huge garage sale – one day a year everyone in the nation is out selling things. Or buying things. On that day people can clear out all of their junk and old items and sell them in specifically designated spots in each city.
Here is a live blog from NOS (the national news channel). It is in Dutch but at the very least you can check out the pictures to get a sense of how crowded it was/is!
And here is the live blog from the local news service, Omroep West, also in Dutch. But Google Translate is your friend. (And mine too, sometimes.)