The Dutch News guide to surviving King’s Day

King's Day is a Saturday this year. Photo:

Just a few hours to go and King’s Day will be upon us. This year the weather forecast for April 27 suggests it could be a spring-like 17°on the big day itself. But the warmth could also be coupled with rain in the afternoon and the chance of sunshine is put by the KNMI at just 30%.

The weather is just one King’s Day worry. So here’s our guide to making the best of King’s Day, whether you like it or hate it.

1. If you are a party animal, you need to know that the best parties all take place the night before King’s Day and run until breakfast. This means you will not be up and about before mid-afternoon and will miss almost the whole thing.

2. If you are a bargain hunter, you need to get up early. If you are a real bargain hunter, you need to get out of the big cities and head for a small town where they won’t expect you to pay €15 for an old pair of shoes or tatty last-season skirt from Zara. The same applies if you hate crowds. Small towns are where the original spirit of King’s Day lives on – if you like silly games involving eating cake which has been tied to a piece of string with your hands behind your back, that is.

3. Take a big bag for your purchases and take lots of coins. No one has 50 cents change to give you for that Beatles record you just bargained down from €10 to €9.50.


4. If you have children, buy plastic dinosaurs now. Every child goes through the dinosaur phase and then sells them on again a couple of years later. Same goes for ski clothes, Donald Duck comics and cuddly toys. You will never find Lego on sale on King’s Day and forget about the individual bits missing from your Playmobil pirate ship as well: you’ll have to buy the whole kit.

5. Don’t buy too much – like that huge fire fighter’s coat and the books and the straw bag and the wine glasses and the hat stand and all the other things which seemed like such a good idea at the time. You’ll have to carry them around and then when you get home you will find nothing fits and the book is missing the final pages. However, you will at least have stock to sell next year.

6. Do not buy dvds of television series and films you have always wanted to see because you will never watch them. You will end up trying to sell them again next year.

7. Do not overdo the orange unless you want to look like a tourist or a frat boy or girl. An orange hair decoration or a t-shirt with a jokey slogan is okay. But an orange wig, feather boa, crown, trousers and Aperol spritzer is just slightly over the top. However, given the weather forecast this year, an orange rain cape and an Oranje bitter could be a good idea.


8. Do not feel guilty about not giving 50 cents to cute kids with violins who can’t play or not buying lurid cup cakes from kids whose mums can’t bake. These kids make a fortune and the mums have been warned not to sell baked goods unless they are officially registered at the chamber of trade.

If you have a cute kid to exploit, they can earn months worth of pocket money getting folk who have drunk just a little bit too much to drop a euro into a glass in a bucket of water.

9.  Do make sure you have befriended someone who lives in a good vrijmarkt spot, so you can drop by and sit down for a bit to watch the world go by and perhaps offload some of your stuff. They will also have a loo you can use, because you won’t find one anywhere else.

According to Simon Bosschieter of Dixi Sanitary Services, King’s Day revellers will deposit 150,000 litres of urine in portable toilets during the festivities.

10. Do not feel obliged to have a good time because, yay fantastic, it’s King’s Day! Lots of people hate it. They really do. And you can always stay home and watch it all on the telly.

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