Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Queens Day - Amsterdam (Apr 30)

Some background on Queen's Day: Queen's Day is a national holiday in the Netherlands on 30 April. It basically celebrates the birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands and is supposed to be a day of national unity. The tradition started on 31 August 1885 on the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina. Since 1949, after the ascension of Queen Juliana, Queen's Day is Queen Juliana's birthday on 30 April; regardless of the current Queen's actual Birthday. Furthermore, Queen's Day is known for its "fleemarket / garage sales" all over the country, where everybody is allowed to sell things in the streets. There are a wide range of activities that go on throughout the day like, children's games, musical performances and music concerts. During the celebrations as reference to the colors of the House of Orange-Nassau, people dress in the color orange which is sometimes called "orange craze". Also the night before Queen's Day is celebrated too in some cities and is called Queen's Night.

Since one of Shannon's coworkers wanted to go up to Amsterdam to see what this celebration was all about, I decided to join him; unfortunately Shannon had to work. First, we began by checking out some of the garage sales which were on almost every street. We didn't buy anything; though, at the end of the day, one lady just started giving away things free, so I grabbed a brown pitcher that I could put flowers in. We also stopped by the Heineken Brewery for a quick photo. Later on we went through Vondelpark where we saw a variety of things, such as kids/adults selling 'compliments', kids singing, kids hosting games they created, martial arts choreography and many other unique things. For the most part, I felt that Queen's Day was basically a huge party with everyone dressed up in orange shirts or costumes. There were DJs playing mostly techno music on every main square with people dancing. There were also live concerts with local artists from the Netherlands, I believe. The canals were jammed pack of people on their boats...dancing and drinking away. Like I stated in an earlier blog, Amsterdam is a city of its own and might I add, full of people who like to have a good time and are extremely laid back!
Canals full of party boats

Everyone wears orange (not Shannon and I, maybe next yr!)

Brewed in Amsterdam

1 comment:

Connie said...

Is that you and Shannon in the orange wigs?