Anyone who knows me knows about my fascination with all things Dutch. The obsession came into being after I visited Netherlands two years ago (Can’t believe it has been so long!). That being said I land up pestering my best friend Janet for stories about the country. She is Dutch after all! Quite recently she told me that the Dutch club was celebrating Kings Day in Bangalore. I just had to know more and she consented to tell us all about why and how Kings day came into existence. Don’t forget about the fascination for the colour orange!
I’m going to hand over to her now. Oh and by the way… She runs this amazing blog called Planet Janet where she talks about her Indian experiences. Most of them put a smile on my face. Others make me realize just how different the world outside the Indian borders is. Let’s head back to what Janet has to say about Kings Day shall we?
KINGS DAY IN BANGALORE BY JANET WASSINK
Orange is the national color of The Netherlands. During sports events and certain national holidays the Dutch are proud to wear their national color. And we are not talking just an orange bowtie or a small orange scarf, no we are talking full on orange; head to toe, not to be missed, ORANGE.
The Dutch national flag is red, white and blue, so where does the orange color come from? Well, you can lead it back to the 16th century when a man by the name of Willem van Oranje (William of Orange) led the war of independence that freed parts of The Netherlands from the Spanish rule. Even now, almost 500 years later, Dutch royalty is still a branch of the House of Orange-Nassau.
There is one day every year when the whole country turns orange; it is the day of the Dutch monarch’s birthday. Since Willem-Alexander became king in 2013, the country celebrates his birthday on April 27. There will be flea-markets, ancient Dutch games, marching bands and parades. The royal family will visit a couple of towns to participate in all the festivities. Even though they are royalty, the Dutch royal family is visible and approachable, something that is very appreciated by the Dutch. The Dutch love their King and his family.
If you ever have a chance to visit The Netherlands during this festival, you should definitely do so. It may be a little intimidating at first; the Dutch can be a rowdy bunch, but once you immerse yourself you’ll find the Dutch will be more than happy to share their festivities, explain what it is all about and include you in the day. Overall it is a very positive and fun day.