Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Orange Day - A Dutch Celebration

It's an Orange thing: Koninginnedag

The prevalent color, symbolizing national and royal pride, stems from the royal family name - The Family Nassau, House of Orange. This inheritance dates back to the 16th century and it is this title that allowed Stadhouder Willam I - Prince of Orange to declare war on Spain, making the Dutch 80 year war of Independence an official war rather than just a rebel uprising. During and after that war The Netherlands was lead by three generations of Willam's descendants, not as Kings but rather as Stadhouders (State Keepers) in the world's first democracy.
After a brief occupation by France with Louis Napoleon serving as King of The Netherlands, the Dutch decided a Monarchy was not such a bad idea after all. Serving more as a watch-dog over the Parliament rather than a divine sovereign, King Willam I became Holland's first King in 1815, and the House of Orange has ruled ever since.

In the spirit of the day, you'll find most people wear something orange, while others are decked head to foot in orange.

So, you see the Dutch can really party it up, throwing oranges, having a parade and generally celebrating Royalty.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Faye, I hadn't heard of that before! Very interesting.