The Words You Need on Koningsdag

| De Taaldienst

On April 27th we celebrate Koningsdag (King’s Day), the day the Dutch celebrate the birthday of their king. It is celebrated everywhere, so also in Leiden, with many parties, live music, flea markets and games for children. This is the perfect opportunity to mingle with the Dutch, celebrate it together and brush up your Dutch! 

How to mingle with the Dutch? Well, rumour has it that the Dutch are quite open and easily approachable during such a festive day, so just go for it! Hit the supermarket and buy oranje tompoucen and a bottle of oranjebitter. Then ask your Dutch neighbours if they would like to join you and make a toast together to the king with this orange coloured bitter, and eat a tompouce (and yes, you are allowed to make a mess of it while eating this pastry, it is impossible not to). You can even switch on the television and watch the koning and the koninklijke familie on their tour through Maastricht. Together you can comment on the dress of the koningin and make fun of the (sometimes) weird things the Dutch expect the royals to do. Do not forget to say “Proost!” when you raise your glass, or even “Leve de koning!”, if you feel like it.

Instead of staying at home, you can also go outside with the kids and visit (or participate in) one of the vrijmarkten. Remember that a vrijmarkt is not a “free market”, it is a flea market where anyone can sell their merchandise. The kids will probably also like the traditionele Hollandse kinderspelen most towns organize, like zaklopen and koekhappen. Afterwards you can propose to your Dutch friends: “Zullen we een terrasje pakken?” or “Zullen we een biertje drinken?” and at some point you might want to ask “Zijn er nog bitterballen?” At the end of the day, you will have learned a lot more Dutch phrases and possibly have learned to sing Oranje boven!

As you can see, on a day like this it is not only very useful, but especially a lot of fun to be able to speak a little bit of Dutch. De Taaldienst can help you with this: check out our Dutch courses on or follow us on LinkedIn!