KONINGINNEDAG / QUEENSDAY! ORANJE BOVEN !!!
this year on 29th of April!!! Her birthday actually falls on a different day, but who cares?
Queen's Day is one of the biggest and most popular national holidays in The Netherlands. In Amsterdam in particular it's an excuse for a huge extended party as millions take to the streets to celebrate the birthday of Queen Beatrix!
Partying is what its all about on Queen's day. For twenty four hours the city of Amsterdam turns into one huge club, the bars open their doors from ten in the morning and people take to the streets. Tthe parties are fast and furious and the smiles never ending. As the sun goes down, the pace picks up and the dancing continues until the small hours.
Free Market !!
As well as having a country-wide party to celebrate the Queen's Birthday, the people of the Netherlands also set up a free market for the day where anything can be bought or sold. Attics are emptied and basements are searched and whatever is found is sold on the street. If you want it, they've probably got it, and cheap too!
Fondest memory: Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) !
This is the biggest party day of the year as the whole country wears orange, goes nuts and gets drunk ;o)
The Queen's official birthday (Koninginnedag) is a national holiday, which is celebrated by street parties and other events.
During the reigns of Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Juliana, it was the custom to celebrate Koninginnedag on the Queen's birthday - 31 August and 30 April respectively. On the day of her investiture, 30 April 1980, Queen Beatrix stated that she wished to continue celebrating it on 30 April, as a mark of respect for her mother, Queen Juliana.
The forerunner of today's public holiday was celebrated for the first time on 31 August 1889, Princess Wilhelmina's birthday. It was an initiative of the Liberal Party in the hope that a symbol designed to foster national unity would promote unity within its own ranks. As the day marked the end of the summer, it replaced the local harvest festivals normally held at that time of the year. The first real Koninginnedag took place on 31 August 1891, after the death of King William III.
Queen Juliana 30 april 1909 - 20 march 2004
During the years that Queen Emma, Queen Wilhelmina's mother, spent the summers at Soestdijk Palace, the local population would present her with a floral tribute on her birthday on 2 August. When Princess Juliana took up residence in her grandmother's country home following her marriage in 1937, the tradition was continued on her birthday, 30 April. After her accession to the throne in 1948, this was the date on which Koninginnedag was celebrated, and the modest parade grew into a national event. During Queen Juliana's reign, it gradually became the custom for everyone to have a day off on 30 April, which ultimately became an official public holiday.
In 1980, as a mark of respect for her mother, Queen Beatrix announced that Koninginnedag would continue to be celebrated on 30 April. She did, however, change the way in which it is celebrated, by attending the festivities in one or two different places each year.
Fondest memory: It's an Orange thing!
The prevalent color, symbolizing national and royal pride, stems from the royal family name - The Family Nassau, House of Orange. This inheritance dates back to the 16th century and it is this title that allowed Stadhouder Willam I - Prince of Orange to declare war on Spain, making the Dutch 80 year war of Independence an official war rather than just a rebel uprising. During and after that war The Netherlands was lead by three generations of Willam's descendants, not as Kings but rather as Stadhouders (State Keepers) in the world's first democracy.
After a brief occupation by France with Louis Napoleon serving as King of The Netherlands, the Dutch decided a Monarchy was not such a bad idea after all. Serving more as a watch-dog over the Parliament rather than a divine sovereign, King Willam I became Holland's first King in 1815, and the House of Orange has ruled ever since.
In the spirit of the day, you'll find most people wear something orange, while others are decked head to foot in orange.
d queen's day is d time of year when d whole Holland simply go crazy... d place to be is the Leidseplein and Museumplein. In the latter, they usually hold a concert by National and International artists....
My advice: wear something orange, wear ur oldest clothes (it's bound to get soaked in beer anyway), drink some beers (don't get drunk if u don't know ur way around), beware of pickpockets, and don't get separated from ur friends (u won't find them until d day's over, mobile phones is of no use during that time)
Fondest memory: I've spent three Queen's day in Amsterdam, and I always find something new each time.... d last time i was in a bad shape and still insisted to go anyway... i was ill for d next couple of days, but even if i have 2 do it all over again, i'd still go
Celebrating QUEENSDAY on 30 April in Amsterdam is a unique experience. On this day, we celebrate the Queen mother´s birthday (since our Queen's birthday is in cold and rainy January). The Queen herself is in a different part of Holland each year, but there is always a big party in AMS!
Fondest memory: Be prepared for 1000s of people (at least 700,000 in 2001), most of them (partly) dressed in orange (this is key, without orange no Q-day). They sell things in front of their houses, cruise on the canals in little boats and sing songs because they are either drunk or performers. The Dutch lose their heads, minds, sanity and more!
Very popular areas are the Jordaan (cafes Thijssen and Blaffende Vis) on the night before and the day itself and the Spui and Museumplein on Queensday (live bands). In 2002, QUEEN actually performed on Museumplein, all arranged by Heineken.
And remember, when in Rome.....
On April 30th the Dutch celebrate the Queens birthday and Amsterdam is transformed into one huge party/fleamarket as people sell their junk in the streets and celebrate with a lot of beer and music.
Fondest memory: Sitting on the grass in the Vondel park in the summer.