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Netherlands / Holland
Facts & Figures
Ideas for a Netherlands Themed Party
Holland. Or The Netherlands, if you prefer. The home of a seemingly effortless style of classy enjoyable football that has captivated the world - and made the Dutch many people's second favourite national team - since the 1970's.
Strangely, also the home of some very eccentric orange-clad footy fans. For those not "in the know", the orange obsession comes from the House of Orange, Holland's royal family. The king's birthday is celebrated all over the country every year as a national holiday, with open-air concerts and festivals, and the now traditional "free markets", during which anyone is free to set up a market stall and sell whatever they wish to without having to pay tax on the profits. This turns the centres of many cities into giant open air car boot sales. The other tradition of the king's birthday is for everything to turn orange in his honour. There are orange banners everywhere, people seem to be able to find entire bright orange wardrobes, bright orange food and drink are on sale (don't ask how much food colouring is in it!), and sometimes even the water in the fountains is coloured orange. This "oranjegekte" (orange craze) has of course been famously borrowed by Holland's fanatical football supporters, and provides all the information you need for colour theming your Dutch football party (although it is equally valid to use the colours of the national flag - red, white and blue)!
Dutch Party Decorations
Food for a Holland Themed PartyGiven the traditions of the oranjegekte, you could almost get away with serving any food and drink you liked, as long as it's pumped full of orange food colouring. But there are many more options to consider...
Dutch cooking today, unlike the cuisines of some neighbouring countries, has been influenced by their explorations over the past few centuries (think Dutch East India Company). So there are many Malaysian and Indonesian restaurants, especially in the major cities, and spicy food is more popular than you might at first expect for a northern European country. Additionally, there is quite a large Moroccan population living in Holland's major cities, and their style of cooking is also extremely popular. Combine these two diverse influences with a traditional northern European "meat and two vedge" style of cooking, plus some internationally famous cheeses, and you will begin to see that the Netherlands has a surprisngly broad range of dishes to offer, which is good news for those wishing to throw a Dutch football party.
Drink for a Netherlands PartyHolland does not produce much wine, and is certainly not known for it. However, its beer brands - including Grolsch , Heineken and Amstel - are well-known internationally, and large amounts of them are exported around the world, as well as being enjoyed in the Netherlands. Beer is in fact more highly regarded by some Dutch people than wine, and is certainly the most popular alcoholic drink in the country. Grolsch, Heineken and Amstel should all be easy enough to find in supermarkets internationally for your Dutch football party, or click on the links above.