Queen's Day in the Netherlands is the most celebrated national holiday. While celebrated everywhere in the country, it is most intensely lived in the capital Amsterdam. While the Queen visits several towns drawing real monarchists cheering her and her family, most Dutch people spend the day on the many street markets, enjoying live music, or watching the boat parade in the canals of the capital. For many, Queen's Day is mostly a great excuse to have a party, to have fun, and/or get drunk. To be sure, many dress up in orange for the occasion, which gives the crowd a vibrant colour.
We decided to go to the Jordaan district, one of the most typical quarters of Amsterdam on any day, and drawing loads of people for Queen's Day. After seeing some of the many Vrijmarkt, or Freemarket, stalls selling all kinds of spare things from people's attics, we stopped at the Prinsengracht to enjoy the boat parade coming by. We ended up staying there for more than an hour, and had a great time. Boat after boat with people dressed in orange passed by, some of them with dj's playing loud dance music, and the orange crowd on the boat dancing to the beat.
After the boat parade, we walked on in the Jordaan District, which is one of the places where Queen's Day is celebrated most intensely, as it is a true people's district. Indeed, the alleys, the canal streets, and most of all, the bars were all full, both with locals dressed up in orange shirts or orange clogs on their heards, or foreigners wondering at this display of orange madness. As a contrast, we also saw small stands where kids were performing a dance, or three teenagers acting as a music group playing some rock classics. Even for convinced anti-monarchists, Queen's Day can be a day to just have fun and enjoy a joyful atmosphere.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Queens Day (Netherlands). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Queens Day.
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