Sport fans gather to watch football matches on big screens, celebrate victories, and share the excitement.

This is why the Dutch have Orange Fever during the European Championship football

in Dutch events, Dutch tradition on 23 May, 2024

The Dutch tradition of hanging flags and turning streets orange to cheer for their national soccer team during the European or World Championships is a vibrant and widely celebrated custom. This tradition is deeply ingrained in Dutch culture and reflects the country’s passion for football and national pride.

Orange Fever during European Championship Football

The color orange is the national color of the Netherlands, derived from the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Orange-Nassau. During major international football tournaments like the UEFA European Championship or the FIFA World Cup, the entire country seems to be engulfed in a wave of “Orange Fever” (Oranjekoorts). This phenomenon sees people across the nation donning orange clothing, accessories, and even face paint to show their support for the national team, known as “Oranje” (The Orange).

Sport fans gather to watch football matches on big screens, celebrate victories, and share the excitement.
During major tournaments, especially if the Dutch team advances deep into the competition, streets and public spaces in the Netherlands come alive with celebrations. Sport fans gather to watch football matches on big screens, celebrate victories, and share the excitement.

Street Decorations

One of the most striking aspects of this tradition is the way Dutch streets are transformed. Residents often decorate their homes and neighborhoods with orange flags, banners, and streamers. In many towns and cities, whole streets are festooned with orange decorations, creating a festive and united atmosphere. It’s common to see flags of various sizes hanging from windows, balconies, and flagpoles.

orange flags

Public Viewing and Festivities

Public viewing events are another key feature of these celebrations. Large screens are set up in city squares, parks, and bars, where fans gather to watch the matches together. These events are marked by a carnival-like atmosphere, with singing, chanting, and various forms of entertainment before and after the games.

The Dutch Lion

The Dutch national team is often represented by the symbol of a lion, which appears on the team’s logo and merchandise. During tournaments, images and statues of lions dressed in orange or adorned with Dutch flags are commonly seen in public spaces and private gardens.

celebrating with flags in the streets

Community Spirit

This tradition not only showcases the Dutch enthusiasm for football but also fosters a strong sense of community and national unity. Neighbors often collaborate to decorate their streets, and there’s a shared sense of excitement and anticipation as everyone comes together to support the national team.

Unique Celebrations

Each tournament brings unique and creative expressions of support. From elaborate street parties to innovative orange-themed decorations, the Dutch fans continually find new ways to show their support and celebrate their team’s participation on the world stage.

Overall, the tradition of hanging flags and turning streets orange during major football championships is a beloved and unifying aspect of Dutch culture, reflecting the country’s deep-rooted love for the sport and their national pride.

fans watching World Cup football in holland
Dutch fans have various traditions, including singing football chants, creating vibrant fan displays in the stands, and engaging in good-natured banter with opposing fans.

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