King’s Day: Orange, Festivals, and Flea Markets

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The Netherlands is a rather small country. And also one of the 43 sovereign monarchies that we have in this world.

Every year on this day, we celebrate the birthday of our King. It’s a national holiday, where nobody has to work (yes!) and goes out on the streets. The festive holiday is well known in foreign countries and lot’s of tourists know how to find this little country when it’s the 27th of April. In the big cities, there are all kinds of paid and free music festivals, food stands on the streets and usually, a lot of beer is also involved. For the ones that don’t know it that well, it’s quite a unique happening.

What does this have to do with money? Well, besides some people complaining that having a king is expensive, this day is also the day you can earn some cash on flea markets.

The royal celebrations were first held on 31 August 1885, in honor of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina. Throughout the years it’s been celebrated ever since. Today is in the honor of Willem-Alexander, who is actually the first male monarch in 123 years.

It’s a busy day of the year for some. In Amsterdam, the crowd can go up to 600.000 or sometimes a million people who decide to go out on the streets and canals. Some others, like myself nowadays, are avoiding the big city and take it a bit calmer and closer to home. But it’s a happening like no others, and if you just go with the flow and care to enjoy, it can be a celebration of a lifetime.

Orange is the new black

There is one thing on this day that is perfectly normal to us (well kinda) but not for so many others. Orange is our national color, and a lot of people literally turn orange for this day as a show of pride for the Dutch royal family. Yes, it looks crazy, but so does the rest of the people. There are even all kinds of special merchandising products to fill in on the festivities, like orange beer, hats, wigs, orange pastries and even chocolates in the shape of the king’s head (no joke).

To get an image of how it can look like, I’ve found a rather good video that illustrates a King’s Day in Amsterdam.

Why the orange?

The origins of our national color go back to the 1550’s or just before the start of the 80-year war. Willem of Nassau inherited the French princedom Orange, which was later added to his name as Prince of Orange. During the 80 year war, he needed a national flag, in which he used the colors orange, white and blue. In 1596 the orange turned red, and orange became the one and only national color.

Earning the money

One other thing that is related to this big day, are flea markets. They are happening in almost every city. So there is something with (earning) money involved? Well yes, but I stopped going to flea markets a long time ago. When I was a kid I had my own very spot on a market selling my old toys. At the end of the day, I had a little profit, which made me feel like a little entrepreneur and keep it for who knows what.

But it always a good time of the year to clean up the house and sell the items that are unnecessary. There are some people that are really earning some big money on this day. Where it turns out the average street-seller makes a 90 euro on King’s Day.

When the book of Marie Kondo was published: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a new trend was born. Decluttering and organizing your home. Along with it, the minimalism movement grew worldwide to a new and embraced lifestyle by many. We aim to be partly minimalistic and only to buy items that have their worth. But are not near as minimalistic as how it could be. Still, we too have items lying around that we haven’t used for months or even years.

So today when many others are wandering around at flea markets, I thought to use it as a way to start decluttering and place some items for sale online. I already placed a small figurine last weekend to check out how fast it would be sold. And it just so happened that it was sold in 1 day for 30 euro. Sweet! I have found enough other items we no longer need or are lying in the back of a closet for years, which we can use to make others happy with it instead. So today, I use my free time of work, amongst other things, to list these items for sale and check out how much it can bring us.

Have you ever sold items in flea markets or garage sales, or on online listings? Or are you rather willing to give it away for free?

7 thoughts on “King’s Day: Orange, Festivals, and Flea Markets

  1. Last summer, we convinced the kids to sell their unused toys on a flea market. They Oils help and get to buy one en toy with the proceeds. It was bad weather that that, so I ended up doing the sales myself between the rain… We sold most items, the kids learned something so all good.

    We also experimented with giving away for free on dedicated Facebook pages. Someone surprised us buy giving home grown berries… Yummy!

    Like

    • I loved to do those things when I was a kid. Especially if you can teach them a thing or two about money!

      Heard about those facebook pages but never used it. Surprise sweets (or fruits) are always great 😊

      Like

  2. We met with friends in Maastricht on the local flea market. Was great fun and Miss CF really enjoyed the day. Our friends actually sold quite a few of their items and were surprised how fast stuff disappeared. Made some space in their garage to put their bikes (how Dutch is that!).

    Like

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