The King's birthday in the Netherlands? What is this?
If you are new to the country, you will have noticed that the 27th of April is a public holiday throughout the country, and you will also have seen that everyone and everything is dressed in orange.
This is all due to the celebration of King Willem-Alexander birthday, for this date the whole country dresses in orange, street markets are set up where they sell without any restrictions. Unfortunately the celebration this year is different because of the COVID 19 regulations.
But how this tradition was born?
It is said that this celebration came into being with the birth of Queen Wilhelmina on 31 August 1885, but the date changed with the accession to the throne of Queen Juliana, and the celebrations took place on 30 April, her birthday.
When the King's mother, now Princess Beatrix, became Queen, she decided to stop the celebrations on her date and continue with the celebration of her mother's date. Since 2014, with the coronation of King Willem-Alexander, the celebrations have been brought forward a few days to 27 April, the date of his birthday. Every year, the Royal Family chooses a Dutch town to experience first-hand the festive tribute of the citizens, this year it will take place in our city Eindhoven.
But why all orange you may ask? Well here's the explanation, the Dutch royal family is called the House of Oranje. This makes it the national color of the Netherlands. As far as you can see all the shops and most of the people dress in orange, wear orange wigs or make-up, decorate their houses in orange, eat some orange sweets, drink an orange drink which I will tell you more about. Everything orange.
Orange Bitter This drink was first brewed in the 17th century, but gained popularity in 1814, during the time of King Willem van Oranje. Now a symbol of national pride, it is a must on King's Day and is served in several places on King's Day.
A characteristic and very important feature of this celebration are the markets. All over the country on this day, people are allowed to sell goods and food on the streets without the permission of the authorities. Many people take advantage of the day to sell their second-hand goods, play music, dance or entertain passers-by, and we can find bathrooms for rent in houses. As I said before, because of the covid regulations they are forbidden.
This year the activities took place online, the government of Eindhoven has made an online broadcast in parallel with the national broadcaster NPO1.
Our children from expat Kids in Eindhoven recorded videos in different languages which were sent to be shown in the orange room. Each child said happy birthday in the language of origin.
Today I send greetings and thanks to the children who participated.
Now I have to go on with our activities... I didn't want to let the day go by without telling you a part of the story of the King's birthday celebration.
See you soon enjoy your day!!!
See you next time and remember have courage and always be kind.