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Netherlands: Queens Day

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Queens Day | Netherlands | Europe

[Visited: April 2006]

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.

Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Queens Day in Amsterdam: orange crowd on a boat in the Prinsengracht

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.

Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Boat in fog during Queen's Day in Amsterdam

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.

Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Orange boat in the canals of Amsterdam during Queen's Day
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Crowd in the streets of Amsterdam during Queen's Day
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Inflatable orange crown on a boat in the canals of Amsterdam
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Orange everywhere: balloons, hats, shirts and much more
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Orange hats in Amsterdam during Queen's Day
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Black Queen's Day: making a statement in the middle of Amsterdam
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Celebrating Queen's Day: smoking a mega-joint in Amsterdam
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Young drummer in Jordaan, Amsterdam, for Queen's Day
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Fortuneteller during Queen's Day in the streets of Amsterdam
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Orange tulip to celebrate Queen's Day
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Sensual dancing following the beat on a Queen's Day boat
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Young dancer performing in the streets for Queen's Day
Picture of Queens Day (Netherlands): Postcard sellers on a bridge on Queen's Day

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