Posts Tagged With: Koningsdag

Orange, orange, orange (Or: Cheese and nuts for King’s Day)

Over the weekend the intercom unexpectedly buzzed. It turned out to be a surprise package from work. Inside were gifts to celebrate King’s Day with.

Think of things like a toxically orange lei (you can just see it hidden behind the orange ballons), nuts, cheese blocks, Valencian orange tonic water, and a game of tic tac toe with wooden blocks. Oh, and an elderberry syrup mixture to stir into your water.

The two drinks were Aperol Spritz, an Italian drink (aperol, sparkling water and prosecco). They actually weren’t part of the package. I still had leftover aperol spritz from last year when I celebrated King’s Day with my coworkers! Virtually, of course. Luckily the bottle is now empty. It’s an okay drink… once a year?

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King’s Day 2021 (Or: A sea of orange)

When Marco and I took a walk this afternoon we spotted these flowers by the Hofvijver (English Wikipedia):

Fitting, since today is King’s Day (also Wikipedia), a Dutch national holiday.

Who else remembers that Koningsdag (=King’s Day) was called Woningsdag last year? Woning = home, so it was a play on King’s Day reminding people to celebrate from home due to the pandemic.

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Orange sugar (Or: King’s Day in the Netherlands)

King’s Day is next Tuesday which means a lovely day off. That’s about the only advantage these days, since the usual King’s Night parties (the evening before) and the King’s Day market can’t take place this year due to the pandemic. But who am I kidding? I probably haven’t gone to a King’s Night party in the last 5 years (back when it used to be Queen’s Night, before she abdicated and gave the throne to her son).

It also means you see a lot of toxic orange baked goods at the grocery stores.

On the left in the back you have soesjes (profiterole according to the English Wikipedia). Those are pastries filled with cream. In the middle you have tompouce, which is just called tompouce over at the English Wikipedia because it is a Dutch/Belgium pastry. My sweet tooth doesn’t usually show itself so I don’t eat this kind of stuff that often anymore. The best tompouce I ever had was from Hema with a lime flavor, putting it a bit more on the sour spectrum than the sweet spectrum. But tompouces are tricky to eat, more like overstuffed hamburgers. If you bite wrong the cream in the middle squirts out in the back.

On the right you have a schnitte. I had no idea what this was. I told Marco and Roger this and they looked at me a bit incredulously. Apparently its a two or three layer cake with whipped cream between the layers, or sometimes jam. Marco said that Viennetta ice cream (English Wikipedia) could also be an example of an ice cream schnitte.

Viennetta was actually a possibility last week for celebrating my birthday, but we went for cheesecake instead. I will always consider Viennetta a luxury, since that is how I viewed it as a kid. With the commercial where the group would enjoy the ice cream in clear, tall glasses (obligatory YouTube link)…

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Aperol Spritz (Or: A drink fit for a king)

As you all know, Monday was King’s Day here in The Netherlands. A day that is typically celebrated by all things orange. And even though this year was a bit more subdued, we still got into the spirit. Pun intended?

During one of my work team meetings last week it was suggested that we do an Aperol Spritz competition in honor of King’s Day, and that we send in our photos. While I did not lift my drink at 16:00 for the Nationale Toost (National toast) yesterday, Marco and I did make the drinks later in the evening.

Note: the recipe calls for a slice of orange as garnish, but you make do with what you have (you can never have too many limes!). Otherwise it is 3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and one part soda water. And in our case a special King’s Day cookie which I refer to as a “sugar bomb”.

Aperol Spritz is apparently an Italian drink suitable for days when you can sit on the terrace. We’re heading into a very rainy week, so it will have to be an inside drink for the foreseeable future. But at least King’s Day 2020 was celebrated with a touch of orange!

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King’s Day changes (Or: Celebrations now dubbed “Woningsdag”)

The National Association of King’s Day organizers announced today that Koningsdag (King’s Day) will become Woningsdag (Home Day) this year. Even if you don’t speak Dutch you can see the subtle change in the word to encourage people to stay at home while celebrating Koningsdag.

King’s Day is a day of birthday celebration for King Willem-Alexander who is turning 53 this year. It is a nationally recognized holiday where (most) people don’t need to go in to work. Previously the holiday was known as Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day until Princess Beatrix abdicated the throne in 2013. She also celebrated the day in April, in honor of her mother. Probably a good thing for us as Princess Beatrix was born in late January – brrrr.

Here are some of the activities planned for the Woningsdag later this month:

  • hanging Dutch flags outside (both for the king on his birthday and for each other)
  • bell ringing between 09:45-10:00 throughout the country
  • singing of the national anthem at 10:00
  • NOS (the national broadcaster) will air a program at 10:10 looking at previous King’s Day events
  • a digital market for clothes in the afternoon. I have no idea how they will make that work – but the Dutchies are well known for their King’s Day flea markets. See also:
an old photo from Queen’s Day 2012
  • The king will read some of the digital letters written to him by children
  • At 16:00 there will be a toast to the king in which everyone can participate (woo! alcohol at 16:00!)
  • In the evening NOS (the national broadcaster) will air a program looking at how Woningsdag was celebrated throughout the country

For more information, see:

Koningsdag wordt Woningsdag met digitale kleedjesmarkt en thuistoost (nu.nl)

Kings Day will be celebrated at home this year, with church bells and a toast (dutchnews.nl)

Corona maakt van Koningsdag dit jaar Woningsdag (nos.nl)

Hmm. Right now a Google search for Woningsdag returns just under 8,000 hits. Let’s see how that increases in the next few weeks…

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King’s Night and Day (Or: Carnivals, festivals, and more)

The Netherlands celebrated the five year reign of Willem-Alexander Thursday night and Friday, with King’s Night and King’s Day. I can’t believe it has been that long. I still remember seeing the live, breaking news of Princess Beatrix abdicating the throne (video with English subtitles). I had barely been in the Netherlands a month, and was watching the news without having a clue what she was saying. There are no subtitles on live TV unfortunately…

First, we’ll start with the carnival at the Malieveld which is held every year around this day:

Carnival ride at Maliveld, The Hague, for King's Day

I could probably handle this ride.

Carnival ride at Maliveld, The Hague, for King's Day 2

Nope. Won’t be going on this one. It was pretty cool to watch though.

And then you had The Life I Live festival in The Hague, held every year on King’s night. A dozen or so music stages are set up throughout the city centre.

Stage at the King's Night party in The Hague

A smaller stage

Stage at the King's Night party in The Hague 2

Here is a much larger set up, at Het Plein (literally ‘the plaza’)

Buitenhof fountain during King's Night in The Hague

The fountain at Het Buitenhof, with the Ferris wheel from the previously mentioned carnival at the Maliveld in the background

Tram on King's Day, The Hague

And finally, a historic tram passing by during King’s Day on Friday

I still need to buy something orange for King’s Day. I’ve managed to not do that in the 5+ years I have been here. Related, amusing blog post about orange clothes and King’s Day: The King Size King’s Day T-Shirt blog post over at the Invading Holland blog.

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Art on the streets (Or: The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague)

Thursday was King’s Day in the Netherlands, a holiday to celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. Or to just enjoy a nice day off…

But the real fun happens the night before, as The Hague organises a festival called The Life I Live. I have written a few blog posts about it, including last year’s rainy celebration and the 2013 celebration (back when it was Queen’s night; the last one as Queen Beatrix addicted the throne the next day).

The Life I live festival 2017, Kerkplein in The Hague

One of the many stages, set up at the Kerkplein (by the Grote Kerk)

Like last year, there was also an area set up for street art. This year’s theme must have been Mondriaan-inspired as there was a lot of primary colors in block formation.

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague

A look at another side, which had just been started:

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague (2)The third side:

Street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague (3)

And the last side – Marco’s favorite – a Mondriaan-inspired Transformer!:

Transformers street art at The Life I Live festival 2017, The Hague

Luckily the rain held off this year. It was cold – colder then even Christmas! – but bearable.

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Rain rain go away (Or: Life I Live festival in The Hague)

King’s day was on Wednesday this year, which meant that the Life I Live festival took place the night before. In short, the night before the holiday the center of the city closes down for the festival, with various music stages set up around the area. Most of the major genres are represented – jazz, rock, blues, covers and more.

Problem is the weather was pretty horrible, especially later in the night. It was also apparently the coldest festival ever. So it was pretty hard to stay out longer than an hour!

Here is a look at two of the street art pieces that were created during the festival from scratch. Street art #1:

Street art in progress 2 2016 Life I live Festival The Hague

Street art #2:

Street art in progress 2016 Life I live Festival The Hague

Street art #2, another angle:

Street art 2016 at Life I live Festival The Hague

Here’s a look at the newly installed lights on the Grote Markt. They alternatively glowed orange …

The Hague Grote Markt lights during Life I live Festival

and the colors of the Dutch flag:

The Hague Grote Markt lights during Life I live Festival 2

You can also see photos from the 2013 Queen’s night, which has better photos of the stage and the actual event itself.

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