When Queen’s Day Became King’s Day
This year the Dutch got a new constitutional monarch and the most popular national holiday in the Netherlands - got a new name! With the abdication on April 30 of Queen Beatrix, the Netherlands celebrated its last Queen’s Day, at least for now. As the Queen’s son, King Willem-Alexander takes over, the royal celebrations will henceforth be known as King’s Day!
Princess Maximais now a Queen, Queen Beatrix is a princess again and prince Willem Aleander has become a King
The celebration of Queen’s Day dates back to August 31, 1885. The King at the time, William III, was rather unpopular among his people, however his four-year-old daughter, Princess Wilhelmina, was not. In an effort to create more of a sense of national unity during this time of distaste for the monarchy, liberals in the Dutch government created a national holiday celebrating the birthday of the young Princess. Princessedag or Princess’s Day - soon became very popular with Dutch children because it added an extra day to their summer holidays.
The holiday became known as Queen’s Day upon Wilhelmina’s accession to the throne and became increasingly popular throughout the towns and cities of the Netherlands. On April 30, 1980, Queen Juliana abdicated and gave the throne to her daughter Beatrix. Beatrix then went on to change the date of the Queen’s Day celebration to April 30 - in honour of her mother.
Former Queen Beatrix
What began as an official parade and the Queen’s acceptance of a floral arrangement became (especially in Amsterdam) something much bigger, much wilder and much more fun for locals, and visitors alike. During the 33-year reign of Queen Beatrix, the celebration of Queen’s Day morphed into a day all about celebrating Dutch-ness - all without the potentially negative or dark undertones of nationalism. In a country where the national flag is rarely flown, the people turn out dressed in Orange, from their hair to their shoes, and throw one hell of a party in the spirit of being inclusive, silly, and fun.
For 24-hours, beginning the night before, live music performances are held in the squares and streets, with bars and nightclubs throwing parties aplenty, staffed with local bands and DJs. This is also the one-day of the year that the Dutch government doesn’t require a permit to sell goods or used items on the street. Dutch citizens of all ages set up tables and stands, clean out their closets, and offer their second-hand stuff for dirt-cheap prices, effectively turning the entire city into the largest flea market in the world.
This year nearly a million people turned out in Amsterdam to celebrate the last Queen’s Day. The city centre was closed off to cars and trams, and party-goers wandered the streets drinking beers, sampling traditional Dutch food from street vendors, and bargaining for quirky items being sold by the local residents. The canals were packed with boats filled with dancing people enjoying the merriment, and perhaps the most incredible thing about the celebration was the peacefulness of it all. It’s rare to see so many people out in the streets of a major city, drinking, partying, and generally acting crazy, without also seeing some level of misbehaviour. But not on Queen’s Day. Not in Amsterdam.
- Seth Valentine
Just in time for this ezine... A brand new time-lapse video from the Beach Hostel in Noordwijk. Get a peek of this highly recommended hostel in just 33-seconds!
Music Reviews From The Flying Pig
Lara Bradley’s Music Review: The Falls: Hollywood
Just when I was closing the lid of my laptop on reviews for the last edition, I came across the blissful sounds of The Falls and couldn't help but revisit the writing grindstone to share this with you.
So the fairytale goes they met, fell in love, made sweet music, fell out, broke up, over came all the bitching and upset … and (fortunately for us) carried on making sweet, sweet music. Ah, how touching. Everything about this ex-couple / band is intriguing and their breakup-makeup story adds romance to the mix.
Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown are from Sydney and have been making music together for years, sauntering in and out of the highs and lows of love with a dreamy ease.
The album depicts the ups and downs of their relationship which seems more raw and believable - because the pair have been through what they’re singing about. In their own words they: “subconsciously documented our whole relationship in our songs.”
I guess the vibe is Mumford come Angus and Julia. The song Million has that Mumford issue, quick repeated drum beat in it - accompanied by easy guitar and piano bursts. But what I like is that at points the duo have a hint of James Taylor and Fleetwood Mac. Then the simplicity of the plucky guitar in the background is over shone by the pure and even angelic voices of Mel, and Simon.
I myself wear my heart on my sleeve so I think its warming and romantic how the two are the muse of each other - unafraid to play out their lives in song. Through good times and bad the stark emotion does nothing but enhance the appeal of the artists and their music, all without seeming too lovey-duvey.
It seems these tracks are falling over themselves to be given the title of album favourite but when push comes to shove, I'm backing - Please. I love the harmonies, the heart felt lyrics and the fact it reminds me of how my Dad would play on the guitar when I was a Kid.
As their music progresses I'd really like to see more of that stripped back earthy folk sound featured in the track Hollywood, rather than going down the modern route of the song Million. All in all, this is a great discovery and I will warmly welcome the band to Holland (namely Amsterdam) with open arms.
- Lara Bradley
News and Events from the Pig
News From the Pigs: Events in Amsterdam
Vondelpark Open Air Theatre
From June 2 to August 25, 2013, the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre presents a three-month programme packed with dance, cabaret, jazz, children's theatre, stand-up comedy and music of all genres. openluchttheater.nl
World’s Best Press Photos
Joy at the end of the run / Wei Seng Chen worldpressphoto
The winning images from the world's largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest begin their world tour in Amsterdam at the end of April. A reflection of trends and developments in photojournalism, it not only presents the sometimes-brutal reality of events in the world, but also the beauty of life, sports, art, science and nature. The exhibition is only in town for two-months, so catch it while you can. You can see this until June 23, 2013. oudekerk.nl
Amsterdam Open Air
After successful festivals in 2011 and 2012, Amsterdam Open Air returns for another wild, and summery weekend bash at Amsterdam’s Gaasperpark on June 8, and 9, 2013. It’s a collaboration between MTV, Club Air and other names from Amsterdam's clubbing circuit – with the shared aim of representing the city's nightlife in all its glory. amsterdamopenair.nl
Viva Las Vega’s Food Festival
On Saturday June 1, 2013, the Viva Las Vega’s Food Festival takes over Studio K to showcase the full potential of vegetarian food and healthy eating! Between 11:00 and 22:00 you can experience a whole host of veggie delights, organic products and many memorable entertainments. vlvfoodfestival.nl
Amsterdam's International Theatre School Festival (ITs) brings the best of new theatrical talent to stages at theatres across Amsterdam. The festival hits town between June 21 and 28, 2013.
Check out the Facebook Page for more details - as we unveil them!
Flying Pig Beach Hostel - What’s On at the Beach Hostel
Final of the Great Band Robbery – June 1, 2013
The band(its) have filled the safe with a bounty of €625 and now they have the final battle to contend with. This is one last chance to crack the safe, steal the loot and take off with a headline spot at the Piggy Pop 3 concert. And you know what? You have a vote in this because every guest at the hostel has a chance to support the Band(it) that they believe to be most deserving! Join in the fun from 21:00.
Summerjazz Festival Leiden – June 2, 2013
Summerjazz is a young and inventive collective, looking to connect people with a passion for music, culture and all things new. The festival is all about the visitor’s experience and senses are set to be stimulated in many ways. Look out for a smashing mix of rousing music performances, theatre, cabaret and workshops – all in the enchanting surroundings of the Het Leidse Hout forest. Tickets are €19.50.
Leiden International Film Festival Summer Edition - June 6 to 8, 2013Like every year, the LIFF will kick start the summer by transforming the historic St. Peter's Church Square into an outdoor cinema. This year the special summer event will be bigger than ever with the addition of a second site - the stunning park De Houtkamp in Leiderdorp. This year the summer special will focus on American cinema. The films start at 22:30, with the square and the bar open from 20:00. Entrance is free but make sure you're on time because seats are limited!
Noordwijk on its Head Festival – June 15, 2013Foundation de Keune Kust and Foundation Poppodium are the organising forces behind the Noordwijk on its Head festival, sponsored by The Flying Pig Beach Hostel. This music festival offers an international line up, including The Mieters with their authentic sixties beats and catchy Dutch lyrics, along with the Def P & Beatbusters - a Dutch Ska and Reggae collective, featuring Rapper Def P.
Buckle Up Kids - The Barons of Tang Are ComingGracing stages all over the world, this rag-tag bunch of misfits are slowly building an empire out of gaffa tape and bitumen. Mixing Klezmer and Balkan feels with punk, folk music and whatever’s lying around the kitchen, these feisty troubadours are making waves. You can locate this unique sound in the big tent next to the lighthouse in Noordwijk. Entrance is free and the concert runs from 19:00 until 00:30. Afterwards enjoy the after party, conveniently located at the Flying Pig Beach hostel!
The Noordwijk Painting Festival – June 19 to 23, 2013Artists from all over Europe come to Noordwijk to make and exhibit the most beautiful art around for the public. It’s set to be a great atmosphere where everybody can manifest their creativity. On the last day there’ll be an auction to sell the newly created works of art.
Europe’s Famous Hostels – AthenStyle: Celebrating Five Years in Style
The Europe's Famous Hostels outpost in Athens will soon be celebrating five years in the business! Here's why they're so good at what they do and what they've got coming up, to celebrate half a decade as the best hostel in Greece.
Our main goal at AthenStyle is to make sure travellers experience the real Athenian style of hospitality and leave with plans to come back! We provide premium accommodation at the best price, with the friendliest staff and unforgettable views.
Rated in the top three accommodation providers in Athens by tripadvisor, everything has come together lately as a testament to our hard work! Our Rooftop Bar has been featured in the most popular Athenian Newspaper alongside the Hilton and luxury hotel rooftop bars - for its view and character.
AthenStyle isn't just a member of Europe's Famous Hostels in Greece, for its style and the personal touch. It's a member because it's got a heart. Without that we'd just be another hotel!
To celebrate all of this and more, join us for a party marking five-years in the business on June 1, 2013! When join us here at sunset by the Rooftop Bar, you can also be in with a chance to win a free stay – at any of the Europe’s Famous Hostels - in the future!
Five years in style - only at AthenStyle - where else?
More info and free booking at www.famoushostels.com