King's Day: Google Doodle on Koningsdag to honor the King’s birthday
Happy King’s Day!
Today’s Doodle celebrates King’s Day, or Koningsdag. Dutch communities in the Netherlands and around the world celebrate their nation’s cultural heritage and the birthday of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, who was born on this day in 1967.
Koningsdag or King's Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The festivities on Koningsdag are often organised by Orange Committees (Dutch: Oranjecomité), local associations that seek sponsorship and donations for their activities. In recent years some committees have had difficulty in recruiting new members from among the younger Dutch.
A representation of the Dutch royal family, oranjegekte (“orange madness”) is the theme of the day and the national color can be seen everywhere from the way people dress up to the icing on the tompouce (a cream-filled pastry). Even the drinks are orange, as many toast to the King with an Orange Bitter.
Koningsdag now sees large-scale celebrations, with many concerts and special events in public spaces, particularly in Amsterdam. An outdoor concert is held on Amsterdam's Museumplein, where as many as 800,000 people may gather. The city centre is closed to cars, and no trams ride in the heart of the city; people are urged to avoid Amsterdam Centraal railway station and use other stations if possible from their direction. International trains that normally begin or terminate at Amsterdam Centraal are instead directed to a suburban stop.
The vrijmarket (literally 'free market') is a nationwide flea market, at which many people sell their used goods. Koningsdag is the one day of the year that the Dutch government permits sales on the street without a permit and without the payment of value added tax.
Depicted in the Doodle artwork is the creation of homemade crowns, an annual King’s Day tradition. Huge inflatable orange crowns and miniature crown variations are worn by celebrants across the country to honor the King’s birthday.
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