One of the best parts of living in the Netherlands is that we have Kingsday. This is on April 27, and is a celebration of the King’s birthday, and the whole country seems to stop and celebrate accordingly. The celebration actually starts the night before, this night is called “Koningsnacht”. In Groningen, there are big stages set up in the city center and everyone comes together to watch the artists perform, sing songs, and drink beer of course. The tradition is to wear orange, the national color, as well as red, white, and blue, the colours of the Dutch flag. The streets are flooded with orange. Everywhere there are orange hats, flags, crowns, and people of all ages wearing face paint.
The morning after there is a market where children sell little things they have made, others sell baked goods or used things they have no use for anymore, such as clothing, books, or jewellery. While many people wander through the markets looking for cool finds, there is also a festival held at the nearby park called Stadspark. This is an all day festival called Kingsland. Many well known artists show up to perform in celebration of the King and thousands of people come to watch and celebrate. It is a very memorable and fun experience.
We hope to see some new faces celebrating this fun holiday with us next year! Now its off to another festival to celebrate Liberation day!
By Asyana Eddy – First year student