All hail the King: Kings Day Amsterdam 2015
In some circles the title above could be misinterpreted to being a chant of adulation for the King of Rock & Roll; the one and only Elvis. But this past Monday the chants were for an actual King akin to a character in fairy-tale read to you by your parents as a child.
Enter King Willem – Alexander of the Netherlands. Although he is no fairy-tale character, his birthday celebrations are the stuff of Dutch folklore. And in commemorating his day on the 27th of April, he sort of, kind of bestows upon his subjects (and the droves of tourists) a free pass to party in the streets and let loose like no other day of the year. The only prerequisite being the fact that you have to wear the colour orange for one full day (if only out of respect). But not too worry you can wear it however, wherever you like, as long as it’s orange and you’re wearing it proudly and for all to see.
And we were there, The Nomads, in orange and in the thick of the jostling crowds partaking in the excesses as if we were one of the Kings men. And what better place to host the party than right in Europe’s “sin city” oh, fair Amsterdam. What with all its taboo pastimes being a tolerable indulgence, (need we say more), made it quite the send off for the week ahead. Personally every party should start on a Monday, it really wakes you up for the rest of the week, (not).
- Kings Day was up until two years ago, called Queens Day and was hosted on the 30th of April. Last year it was this little known fact that caused many a tourist (the first Kings Day) to miss the celebration by 3 days, ouch.
- It had been 123 years since a Prince of the Netherlands had ascended to the throne to be crowned King of the Netherlands. The last being King William III (1849 – 1890).
- According to popular belief, Kings Day or Queens day, no matter the weather forecast is always a pleasant and sunny day. It could be because when a monarch of the Netherlands decrees that it is to be so, the weather just bows and does as it is commanded to do.
- Interestingly to note, Kings Day also allows for anyone living in the Netherlands, if they so choose, to cordon off a section of the sidewalk with tape in order so that they can reserve their spot for the days celebration. In their “spot” they are free to sell anything, offer a service or just host their own little party. It’s quite a sight and a nice addition to the days celebrations.
By Slippery Joe Lyzard © (Writer for Nomadic Existence) Photography: Nomadic Bug © Nomadic Existence 2015 ©
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