Sunday, April 30, 2006

"De Konninginnedag" (Queen's Day 2006)

I went out last Queen's Day. That was my first spectaculation about the celebration. By reading some articles about this national event in The Netherlands, it appears to me as interesting and be my first blog entry.
I am definitely curious how people wear their orange costumes, and how is it during a "free-trade market".

Above picture is the reigning Queen Beatrix.

To give you little insights of this event, here:

Queen's Day Dutch: Koninginnedag) on April 30 (or celebrated on April 29 if the 30th is Sunday) is a national holiday in The Netherlands. It started as a celebration of the Dutch monarchy.
The holiday is celebrated on this date because it was the birthday of Queen Juliana (1909-2004). When Queen Beatrix succeeded Juliana in 1980, she decided to keep the holiday on April 30, as the weather on her own birthday, January 31, tends to prohibit the traditional outdoor festivities.
Before 1949, the holiday was celebrated on the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina, August 31.
The current monarch, Queen Beatrix, visits towns on Queen's Day where she is received with special celebrations, often in the form of demonstrations of old-fashioned dances and crafts.

The colour orange is a common sight on Queen's Day, as it represents the House of Orange, which is the name of the current Dutch dynasty. There are orange banners and flags, orange food and drink, and even the water in fountains is dyed orange.
In recent years, Queen's Day has become more and more of an open air party, particularly in Amsterdam, which attracts anywhere from 500,000 to two million visitors.(

Well, the day was very cold and not very encouraging. It was 9-11 degrees temperature with rainshower. The holiday was also a "free market"day where people and kids set up stalls at the roadside to sell household goods they no longer need. It is like an "ökay-okay bazaar" in the Philippines with second hand goodies. The streets were busy and shoppers were rushing. Mini concerts were in was amazing how people enjoyed it despite of standing in grizzly cold atmosphere holding their beers :-)
I had nothing more to expect...we went to the centrum around in the afternoon. It seemed that I am about to end the story of a fairytale book. The kingdom is about to close. Yeah, it sounded like a fairytale when I heard about queen and king, princess and prince. My cinderella time was awakened that made me feel that I am just a kingdom away from my territory.

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