King's Day - Koningsdag, Amsterdam
Queens Birthday has a long history and it's not a day on current Queen, she's born on November, but she decided to change the day, at least the weather is better at the end of April.
There are many traditions but originally the day was for kids and kinds are visible on street having a lot of performances for example. I participated at least four different concerts during the day (hmm... more enthusiasm than skills, but fascinating).
The tradition permits for the free street market, people can sell stuff all old and new stuff on the street and it was nice to follow all preparations during earlier days, I didn't understand if there is some reservations system or is it just that earli birds are lucky. Think about kilometres of flea and Circus on the streets!
I had an idea what means a million people on the streets but I was still surprised (try to avoid some most crowded crossings, we all are on the streets but no cars, main roads are closed and public transportation is limited also).
I had an idea what I am facing, but I was surprised. As a Finn I know 1st of May and Midsummer here in Finland, a lot of beer and related, but imagine chanals, boats, orange and MILLIONS of beer cans, both during the day and next morning. You might get the Idea. If you are lucky, Ajax has a game and win, just like happened this year, we got extra celebrations and there were no possibility to sleep before 5:00AM, our hotel was located around Rembrandt Plein.
No doubt, visiting Amsterdam on Queensday - Koninginnedag - has been the absolute highlight of my visits.
The whole city - the whole country - is just one big party, from the night of April 29 throughout the whole day of April 30.
Everybody is wearing orange clothes, and hats, and crowns in all kinds of designs. Of course there are stalls everywhere so you can join with an orange T-Shirt or a funny hat.
You have a huge fleemarket in all the streets: people are allowed to sell whatever they want, so you can get things people don't need any more, or they sell coffee and fresh drinks, or they just play some songs on their violin.
On many spots in the city there are stages with bands and DJs playing all day, also in pubs and bars and restaurants.
The canals are packed with boats big and small, all decorated with orange ballons and flags etc, full of people and loud music of course, lots of beer and wine can be seen as well. so many boats it comes to congestion near bridges or "junctions".
If you ever wanted to throw an egg in somebody's face, on Queensday you get a chance to do it...
It's a crazy day, the Dutch celebrate their Dutch-ness and all the visitors feel Dutch for a day ;-) All a bit like Paddy's Day in Ireland. If you haven't experienced Queensday you've missed out on something! I'll definitely be back next year, and I hope I get the chance one day to be on one of the party boats!
(Also see my TL with more pictures)
Especially in summertime, Amsterdam organises many festivals. Queensday is the largest party and colours the whole town in Orange. Our national holiday (birthday of the queen) is at the 30st of April.
The gayparade is a show-off how funny tolerance can be. This parade of boats over the canal exhibits the gay-society of Amsterdam.
The 'Uitmarkt' is the opening of the cultural season and presents all cultural activities in town. Many podiumacts are to be found around the museumsquare.
Once every five years 'Sail Amsterdam' brings many tallships, sailingboats, steamboats and everything that floats to the Amsterdam harbour. For sailingfans a must to attend to at least once in their lifes.
Queen's day or KONINGINNEDAG in Dutch is a day-long celebration that you shouldn't miss. It has been held for more then 50 years on this day: April the 30th.
The current Dutch Queen Beatrix appointed her mother's birthday as the day of honour to her mother.
It is a unique expirience to celebrate with the whole Holland. The main festivities are in Amsterdam. As ORANGE is their national colour almost everyone has at least one piece of orange clothing or other equipment or accesories. If you don't bring anything orange with you, don't worry there will be plenty of stalls around to buy about anything you can imagine in orange clouor.
For one day only Amsterdam becomes a completey different city - get your palm read, shop till you drop, get you caricature drawing, listen to all sorts of music ...
When visiting Amsterdam during Queensday, April 30, wear orange clothing and be prepared for some serious partying. Everyone is in a festive mood to celebrate the Queen's birthday, and it's the one day of the year when it's legal for residents to sell their unwanteds in front of their house.
Many deals can be found on Delft pottery and goods--just beware of those special bargains--to just about anything you can imagine.
For the most memorable time, secure your valuables, get a good night's sleep the night before, and go out early to enjoy the spectacle.
Amsterdams mayor celebration day (as well as in other Dutch cities) is Queens Day, the birthday of the Queenmum. Everybody is coming to Amsterdam then (crowded!) dressed in orange, there are concerts, salesmen, artists and markets everywhere.
Most people in Amsterdam are very friendly and speak English. Some of them even speak a little french or german, but don't exspect to much of it. Most of the elderly and youngsters are not very fond of Germans (sorry, no offence), because they still think about World War II (though that's a long time ago and the new generations even as a part of the old generation were / are not responsible for this war). On the picture: the monument of war.
30 April 2005..i was there for this lovely day
had a stand on prinscen gracht,lourier street
had bought things from istanbul-eminonu,sold them over there...