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Oranje Madness: How Holland Parties
At no time of the year is patriotism, as well as oranjegekt, more apparent in Holland than on Koningsdag or King's Day. Formerly Koninginnedag or Queen's Day, the holiday celebrates the birthday of King Willem, who took the reins when his mother, former Queen Beatrix, stepped down in 2013. Celebrated on April 27th (April 26th if the 27th is a Sunday), this national holiday is a way for the Dutch to express their spirit of national unity and saamhorigheid, or togetherness, by acting as childishly as they possibly can. While Times Square goes nuts on New Year’s Eve, Rio sambas itself silly during Carnaval, New Orleans erupts in magnificent color and costumes during Mardi Gras and Munich parties hard at October beer fests, nowhere in the world do people go crazier in late April than on King’s Day in Amsterdam.
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