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Welcome to Blogget, this is where I share snapshots of my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Koningsdag

Koningsdag

For the Netherlands, Koningsdag (or King's Day) is one of most anticipated national holidays of the year. 

It’s what it says on the tin, a day to celebrate the King's Birthday. 

What I found most interesting is that the celebration is actually on King Willem's birthday. It's not a set date, instead the day of celebration changes to coincide with the monarch's date of birth.

That said, up until 2013 Konningingedag or Queen’s Day, as it was called for Queen Beatrix, fell on the anniversary of her coronation, (30th April) rather than her birthday which is in January. I guess street parties aren’t as fun in the middle of winter! 

As an unashamed Royalist, I loved the tradition of it all. Pictures of the King and Queen adorned the window's of bars and you could buy knitted King Willem brooches from various street-side stalls.

The only requirement for the day is that you wear orange - the more the better. 

I'm not sure if you've ever actively looked for something orange but it's more difficult than you might think, especially when you're looking for the very specific Dutch shade of orange.

In the end, I borrowed an orange sweatshirt from the back of my mum's wardrobe, it wasn't quite fluorescent enough, but once I was caught up in a crowd of orange adorned people I blended in pretty well. 

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There's a lot of stuff online about being on a boat during King's Day, mainly talking about how crazy it gets. The canals become one long traffic jam of various boat-like crafts (some just look like platforms that happen to be floating), each playing their own music as loud as they can. It's as chaotic as it sounds. 

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I didn't manage to get on a boat, but instead found a spot on a bridge and spent the afternoon dancing along to whatever music was being played by the nearest boat. 

What isn't discussed much in guides about King's Day is the way in which the entire city is transformed into one giant flea market come car-boot sale. 

I'm really not exaggerating. Every park and almost all of the city's pavements (apart from the canal rings) get taken over by locals selling everything and anything. It's like the whole city does a spring clean of their attics and then attempts to sell the stuff they don't want. 

The best place to go is Vondelpark where all the sellers have to be under 16.

It's probably the most refreshingly innocent and unashamedly happy thing you'll experience. I was smiling so much for the two hours I spent wandering around that my cheeks were hurting.

There's so much going on. From 4-year-old girls offering to paint your nails for 10 cents a nail and hula princesses spinning away, to multiple singers (of varying ability) and a bucket drum trio. Anything you can imagine, a child has worked out how to make some money from it. 

It's simple, innocent fun and nothing like I expected. 

So whilst I loved drinking and dancing on a sunny(ish) Friday surrounded by a sea of orange, what I loved more was seeing children busking with none of the embarrassment or inhibitions that we gain in later life. 

I can also guarantee that 10 years ago, Tabitha and I would've been in Vondel Park as a dance duo, thinking we were incredible and in reality just slightly out of time, but that would've been the magic of it!

What would you have been doing to make a couple of Euros?

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