It’s the day after King’s Day, and unless you live under a rock, you probably had some sort of celebration the previous night/day. 🥳
It’s historic, it’s orange, there are crowds and crowds of people, and the traditional flea markets (vrijmakten) span across the sidewalks and parks. So much fun. So much Dutch. So much booze. 🍻
As with all good things, King’s Day eventually comes to end (boooh!), and there are some things we just don’t like about the big party’s aftermath.
1. The hangover
Yesterday, it was all fun and games, but now you are lying here, your head is throbbing, your heart is pounding, and your tongue is glued to the roof of your mouth.
Just lying somewhere and craving water, or any kind of liquid, anything really. Barely keeping your eyes open, you are trying to remember some of the things that went down the night before (hangxiety, anyone?).
You’re probably also making a pact with yourself that you will NEVER EVER drink again, or googling “how to cure a hangover FAST” — and trust us, we feel you. 😆
To talk about hangovers, the Dutch use Kater (ik heb een kater) or ‘(Ik ben) brak’, but they also have many essential words during King’s Day holidays.
2. The shameful (but let’s face it, still fun) memories
Ok, it all started out with the first innocent beer somewhere by a canal. You are watching the boats passing by, listening to the pumping music. Everyone’s in a good mood. 🕺🏻
You walk around for a bit whilst looking at all the things people are selling in the flea markets. Some are really quite creative, offering their balls to be kicked for 1 Euro (no, seriously). Others let you throw some eggs at their faces for a small amount of cash. Fun!
And, of course, there’s the colour orange everywhere. People left and right with orange shirts, dresses, sunglasses and other accessories.
Fast forward some five to six hours, and you find yourself dancing on a table in a bar spilling half of your drink and screaming the lyrics of A-Ha’s Take on Me.
Everything that happens after that is only a blur, which is probably just a trick of our brain to protect you from all the humiliation.
If you are lucky, you just won’t remember all the embarrassing stuff you did. And, if you are even luckier, no one took pictures to document it.
3. The filthy streets
With the amount of people celebrating King’s Day in the streets, it’s no surprise that a lot of garbage stays behind after the party ends. Of course, it’s still advised to pick up after yourself!
It actually looks more like a warzone with smashed plastic cups and beer cans everywhere, mixed with the leftovers from the flea market that people just abandoned on the sidewalks.
It’s a mess (just like you, on the day after). But hey, dawn comes, and the streets are being wiped clean, which happens at an impressively fast pace.
Soon, we slowly start to feel a bit better, after finally managing to drag ourselves to the sink to drink litres and litres of water and grab a bite of anything digestible.
As our brain starts working again, we realize that even though we had to cope with a painful hangover and maybe some painfully embarrassing memories, we were part of a memorable day celebrating the King’s birthday with Dutchies, expats and tourists.
And we can’t wait for next year!
What are your King’s Day plans? Tell us in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2017 and was fully updated in April 2023 for your reading pleasure.