Queensday -Orange madness
If you happen to be in Amsterdam on April 30th, you’re very VERY lucky. Because on this day the entire country goes mad in orange, and Amsterdam is the epic centre of it all.
Traditionally celebrating the queen’s birthday, today’s Queensday actually isn’t the birthday of our queen Beatrix at all. But since on her real birthday of January 31st it’s way too cold to throw a party, our previous monarch Juliana’s birthday on April 30th was kept in tradition. And boy oh boy, what a day it is!
Since it’s a national holiday, the big cities kick off the night before already with “Koninginnenach”, with numerous parties happening into the wee morning hours. But no sleeping in, because the “Vrijmarkt”, or free market, starts country-wide early in the morning. It’s the one day of the year where everyone who feels like it can sell whatever they want on the streets, and the Dutch being Dutch, that’s what a lot of us do indeed. Every imaginable 2nd hand item, homemade cakes, drinks or candy, playing an instrument, everything goes (well, almost) for a quick buck.
The central theme is orange, simply because it represents the House of Orange, which is the name of the current Dutch dynasty. An orange coloured hat is the bare minimum, but really, the funkier the better, and you can buy all of your orange needs right there and then from people’s stalls on the street.
Some of the national radio stations have stages on the big open squares in the city, and that’s where you’ll find the big parties. But don’t forget the small streets along the canals, as lots of the small cafes throw their own little outdoor parties among the passing public, which is really what this special day is about: wander around, soak up whatever is happening around you, and make sure you’ll never run out of a drink.
In our next issue
People watching on the best terraces of Amsterdam!
also in issue # 11
- Downtown DJ number 2 in the Spotlight
- 2007 festivals!
- Linda's Column
- Do you remember this?