What’s wild and patriotic and orange all over?

That would be the national day of the Netherlands, currently known as King’s Day and celebrated today (April 27th), but it’s a movable feast.

This posting is inspired by this photo of two American friends (now resident in Den Haag) celebrating King’s Day:

Husbands Matt and Justin Adams, breaking out in Dutch orange (with red, white, and blue highlights)

From Wikipedia:

Koningsdag or King’s Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 27 April (26 April if the 27th is a Sunday), the date marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander. Up until 2013, when Queen Beatrix abdicated and was succeeded by her son Willem-Alexander, the holiday was known as Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day and was celebrated on 30 April.

The holiday was initially observed on 31 August 1885 as Prinsessedag or Princess’s Day, the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, heir to the Dutch throne. On her accession in November 1890 the holiday acquired the name Koninginnedag, first celebrated on 31 August 1891. In September 1948, Wilhelmina’s daughter Juliana ascended to the throne and the holiday was moved to Queen Juliana’s birthday, 30 April. The holiday was celebrated on this date from 1949.

Juliana’s daughter, Beatrix, retained the celebration on 30 April after she ascended the throne in 1980, though her birthday was on 31 January

… Queen Beatrix abdicated on Koninginnedag 2013, and her son, Willem-Alexander, ascended the throne (the first king since the observance of the national holiday). As a result, the holiday became known as Koningsdag from 2014 on, and the celebration was shifted three days back to 27 April, the King’s birthday.

Koningsdag is known for its nationwide vrijmarkt (“free market”), at which the Dutch sell their used items. It is also an opportunity for “orange madness” or oranjegekte, a kind of frenzy named for the national colour. [described on one site as a “national bacchanal”]

There is, of course, plenty of beer.

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