Good day my lurking lurkers. How are you? I am fine. My feet are a bit sore, because I’ve been strolling the city. Why? Well…
It’s party time here in the land of wooden shoes, because on the 27th of April it is our king’s birthday. Something we celebrate with the entire nation as King’s day. Which is kind of weird, because last year we celebrated Queen’s day, which was to celebrate the birthday of our previous queen with our entire nation. But the Queen gave her throne to her son, our current King. And so now we celebrate his birthday nationwide.
Some traditions still remain, during this special Dutch day. A lot of people get the day off to celebrate. On days like these, the streets are filled with people dressed in their best orange gear. And each year, the royal family will visit a certain Dutch city to celebrate this day, which can be viewed on TV by the people.
As is tradition
But that’s not all we do. What other traditions are there? How do we celebrate the birthday of our king? Well; By taking our junk, chucking it down on a carpet for display on the street in the hopes that others might buy it. A tradition, also known as: The annual King’s day Free Market. And if by the end of the day nobody buys your crap, you can just chuck it in the huge garbage cans that are installed on every corner of the street.
The Free Market: A chance to find cheap second-hand little treasures. A chance to go searching through the piles and piles of garbage that someone forgot to throw away. A change for young kids to discover their inner salesman and/or con man. A tradition, which is actually older than the current king himself. People were selling their crap on the birthday of the king’s grandmother as well.
Music & other entertainment
When you’re tired of strolling along all the crap people have displayed on the Free Market, you can always gather at the dozens of music events that are scattered throughout the entire Dutch nation.
The supply of music entertainment is endless: From Karaoke, typical Dutch “oompa-oompa” singers to Street DJ shows. From small local bars, big stadiums to outdoor stages. From well-known Dutch musicians to the local Joe.
All can be enjoyed with a nice cold beer or some other beverage to your liking.
King’s day is always very crowded. Amsterdam especially is the worst when it comes to large crowds during King’s day. When I was a teenager I loved going to Amsterdam, because of the diverse offer festivities the city provides. The capital city of the land of wooden shoes is attracting more tourists than ever now. Which means that trying to move yourself through the ongoing sea of orange geared party people will be quite a task. If you don’t feel like walking or dancing, rent a boat to cross the canals. It’s a great way to explore Amsterdam and all it has to offer during King’s day.
But Amsterdam isn’t the only place to be. The entire country is celebrating, so you can expect all the other cities to have their own offer of music entertainment, free markets, games and what-not. It’s quite fun. All-in-all it is an event you definitely should check out, if you happen to be in the neighborhood of the land of wooden shoes.
So what did I do?
A bit of everything mentioned above. I skipped Amsterdam this year, though. Too crowded. But watching local bands perform and seeing the local junk sold by kids all ages in my own hometown was quite entertaining too. Even scored myself a new pair of sunglasses. Which I bought in a store, not from a Free Market seller.
And now I am going to take a long shower. I’m beat. Have yourself a swell day, my lurking lurkers!