why do the dutch love to wear orange?

Finally the European soccer championship 2020 started last Friday. It was postponed with one year due to the Covid19 pandemic but now, together with an increasing rate of vaccination coverage in Holland (Already people born in 1990 can make an appointment) and decreasing Covid19 cases it makes a perfect start of this summer. Right after the soccer championship we continue in July with the Olympic games in Japan so there is plenty of national athletes and teams to cheer on this year. As it looks now, even some supporters may be allowed at the stadiums and that made me raise the question. How to dress up orange like the Dutch do when they are supporting their national teams. I’ll give you all the tips and tricks to buy you this years outfit.

Dutch football supporters 20120609 (1)

Football.ua, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons

Isn’t the Dutch national flag red white and blue? Why do Dutch people wear orange so much?
In the 16th century Willem van Oranje (Willem of Orange) was one of the leading figures in the resistance against the Spanish, resulting in the founding of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (7 provinces joined initially).

At that moment both the statenvlag (state-flag) red, white and blue as well as the orange, white and blue of the Prinsenvlag (Flag of the prince) was used. The republic of seven united Netherlands later turned into the Netherlands using the red white and blue flag. However the color orange never left the people of the Netherlands.

The current king is a far descendant of Willem of Orange and the color orange is still very much connected to the monarchy and The Netherlands. The color orange connects all the Dutch people.

Why do Dutch national teams wear Orange?
The color orange states our love for our country and our monarchy. National teams wear often orange clothes to represent our pride of our country. The Dutch soccer team are also referred to as “Oranje” (orange) or “Oranje or Nederlandse leeuwen” (orange or Dutch lions)

When do the Dutch people wear orange?
Well, basically there is only one day every year when all Dutch people wear orange and that day is Kingsday. Streets and pubs will flood this day with everyone wearing orange as they celebrate the birthday of our King. In general all other national holidays and celebrations we do not wear orange.

Another moment is when we support a Dutch athlete or national team. You might have seen orange stands at formula 1 races or soccer games. Sometimes even special camping places are booked for Dutch fans so they can move together to the event. The Dutch fans are sometimes also called ‘Orange army’ as they move in big groups singing and partying.

Dutch formula 1 supporters cheering on Max Verstappen during the Austrian grand prix Lukas Raich, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons:

How to dress up orange like the Dutch

How to get your orange outfit ready for the 2021 European championship?
Ok, so you want to join wearing orange this year. (You can) but you don’t have to buy your outfit in the regular clothing store though. While some people go all out, wearing crazy outfits or hats. I prefer to keep it simple. Most of the supermarkets and big chain stores jump into the orange craziness when there is a big event coming up and give you free clothes or gimmicks when you buy their products. I made a short list for getting your outfit for this year complete.

Orange T-shirts
Our first item on the list and the most basic item is a shirt. This year Heineken beer gives away a Heineken t-shirt when you buy 9 cans of beer. Not a bad deal if you ask me! If you don’t prefer to drink beer then you can also get the Lipton ice tea ‘hero’ shirt.

Orange shorts
Continuing getting our outfit, another beer brand has a similar deal. Bavaria beer gives you a shorts pants ‘1988’ styled (the one and only year the Dutch team won the European championship soccer) when you buy 7 cans of beer.

Orange shoes?
Well…orange shoes are hard to find and maybe also a bit to over… However we can pimp our shoes a bit by adding orange shoe laces to them Croky crisps at Poeisz supermarket gives away shoelaces when you buy 2 bags of crisps!

Cheering the team on…..drums?
That completes our outfit, however during the games we would like to cheer our team forward. The next item is probably this years most creative: Ariel laundry detergent has turned their package into a drum. Ready to beat on while chanting national songs.

Celebrating a goal
Oh and last but not least…when the Dutch team scores a goal. Jumbo supermarket has the “Juichcape” (cheering-cape) to wear while celebrating! And yes…we actually use and wear them…..