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La Carihuela last Saturday. A.M.S.
Thousands paint Torremolinos orange for Dutch king's day
Community spirit

Thousands paint Torremolinos orange for Dutch king's day

The event in La Carihuela on Saturday was held to commemorate King Willem-Alexander's birthday

Alekk M. Saanders

Torremolinos

Monday, 29 April 2024, 18:50

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Thousands of Dutch nationals headed for Torremolinos on Saturday 27 April to help celebrate their king's birthday. The crowds were dressed in orange and, just like their compatriates throughout the Netherlands, they shouted the traditional chant: 'Oranje boven, oranje boven, leve de koning!' (Orange colour above all, orange colour above all, long live the king!)

On the square in La Carihuela.
On the square in La Carihuela. A.M.S.

The celebration on Saturday in Torremolinos had more in common with events in Amsterdam as well as the colour and the chanting. The weather was unusually rainy and grey for the Costa del Sol.

Malou, a Dutch expat on the Costa del Sol, noticed that the greyish Torremolinos resembled the Dutch capital. "This day is amazing in the Netherlands, but usually it always rains there. True, this time the beautiful sun has abandoned La Carihuela as well, but we don't mind that. Maybe it even makes us feel much more comfortable, like home, in the always welcoming Torremolinos. We see everything with a positive outlook. Now you know why we are considered one of the happiest nations in the world, and definitely, the funniest," she told SUR in English.

A.M.S.
Imagen principal - Thousands paint Torremolinos orange for Dutch king's day
Imagen secundaria 1 - Thousands paint Torremolinos orange for Dutch king's day
Imagen secundaria 2 - Thousands paint Torremolinos orange for Dutch king's day

Meanwhile, the colour orange was enough to brighten up La Carihuela until the sun made an appearance later that evening. The epicentre of the festivities was in Plaza Chiriva with a fountain whose water is often coloured orange. Local restaurants and shops, like tree leaves in the Netherlands in autumn, changed their colour to orange. This 'chameleon trick' worked: crowds of people rushed to the shops to buy goods containing orange and its hues. Ice cream was sold better and coffee was drunk more where staff wore orange hats, orange scarves or orange shirts.

In the streets of Torremolinos. A.M.S.
Imagen principal - In the streets of Torremolinos.
Imagen secundaria 1 - In the streets of Torremolinos.
Imagen secundaria 2 - In the streets of Torremolinos.

The iconic Playa Miguel beach club stood out with its orange balloon columns and Dutch paraphernalia. Plaza Chiriva was filled with ethnic food stalls, souvenirs, snacks and beer, as well as a large stage where various DJs and artists performed.

"Over time, the colour orange has become not only a symbol of courage and independence, but also a symbol of national pride and the kingdom as a whole. That's why we go out proudly displaying our national colours," Henning, who has lived on the Costa del Sol for 15 years, told SUR in English.

Highlight of the day. A.M.S.
Imagen principal - Highlight of the day.
Imagen secundaria 1 - Highlight of the day.
Imagen secundaria 2 - Highlight of the day.

This picturesque neighbourhood of Torremolinos is considered the most Dutch in Spain. Torremolinos is home to around 700 registered Dutch citizens. However, on Saturday there were thousands of Dutch people there dressed head-to-toe in orange.

Hundreds of Dutch people went to Torremolinos from all over the Costa del Sol to celebrate one of the most important holidays. Many travelled to La Carihuela from the Netherlands just for this holiday. And it's a tradition too, as La Carihuela has historically been a favourite place for the Dutch to visit and live.

"The love affair with Carihuela began in 1963 when Wim Kuipers arrived on the Malaga coast from the Netherlands and obviously fell in love with Torremolinos, which was then going through its golden age. The Dutchman started promoting hotels and restaurants and then got into the property business, and all these six decades later many Dutch people have followed in his footsteps," Henning said.

Every year the party in La Carihuela gets bigger and bigger. This means that the Dutch love for Torremolinos has not faded over the decades. Of course, the Dutch were accompanied by many people of other nationalities who wanted to join the party.

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