3 things we don’t like about the aftermath of King’s Day festivities

It’s the day after King’s Day and if you don’t 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. 🍻

Still partying the day after. 🥳 Image: Depositphotos

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, some 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.

Us after partying on King’s night. Image: Depositphotos

You’re probably also making a pact with yourself that you will NEVER EVER drink again. But you and me both know that you don’t really mean that… 😆

Dutch phrase: Kater or Brak. The Dutch use Kater (ik heb een kater) or ‘(Ik ben )brak’ a lot of times to express their hangovers, but they also have so 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!

The Dutch vibes are everywhere on King’s day! Image: Depositphotos

And, of course, there’s the colour orange everywhere. People left and right with orange shirts, dresses, sunglasses and other accessories.

Painted faces and smiles everywhere. One of your friends hands you the next ice-cold beer. And you cheer to celebrate the king’s birthday again and again and again. 🍻

Fast forward 5-6 hours and you find yourself dancing on a table in a bar spilling half of your drink 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.

Dutch Phrase: ‘Lekke band’, which translates to ‘flat tire’. With all that glass and garbage on the road and you wanting to integrate in post-27-April society, there’s a big chance your fiets will catch a flat tire. 🚲

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!

Sweeper machines like these are hard at work after King’s day. Image: Depositphotos

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 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 liters and liters 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.

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 2022 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Alexandra Huetter
Alexandra Huetter
Alexandra Huetter is a native Austrian with a passion for traveling. Having worked in tourism, marketing and sales she finally decided to exchange her 9-to-5 job for the unpredictable yet rewarding world of freelancing. She has been working as a freelance copywriter in Amsterdam since 2011.

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  1. Very well written! I can relate to point 2 for sure and the way Dutch celebrate the kings day with craziness specially party rise after sunset is unmatched! And guess what? I got orange t-shirt with Dutch flag woven into it blending me in all Oranje that can’t be found still out of my party hangover 😵


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