Thursday, 8 December 2011

Koninginnedag and Orange craze

Queen’s day, or Koningnnedag, is the national holiday in The Netherlands. However, it has gone far from the traditional meaning of national holiday. Queen’s day is one of the most unique national holidays in the world because it brings a fresh excitement and attracts around 700 thousand visitors every year.
The biggest celebration takes place in Amsterdam, starting from the night of 29th April and the whole day of 30th as a carnival-like festival. On this day the Dutch celebrate the birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands. What is special about the Queen's Day is that it includes all elements of the huge party.  It is combined with the market in the streets of the whole city (in Dutch: Vrijmarkt) and all kinds of activities and parties. Almost all kinds of activities for festivals and events can be found on Queen’s day. The dress code on Queen’s day is orange – the Dutch national color.
The Queen’s day has been celebrated all over the Netherlands for more than 50 years. As a matter of fact that Amsterdam is the capital and the biggest festival takes place there, year by year, the popularity of the event has been growing fast. You can find any type of exciting elements with this holiday, from the Free market traditional trading, Queen’s night party, Queen’s day party, Rock and DJ party to Gay parties.
Despite the overcrowding, the atmosphere on Queen’s day is fantastically relaxed and enjoyable. It is said that the Queen’s night is the time to be in Amsterdam because most people will go out on this night. All the clubs across the country have special events, especially in the crowded Amsterdam. The celebration starts at around 7pm until early hour of the Queen’s day. 

The Rock concert starts at around 11am on Queen’s day on Museumplein and attracts thousands of young participants. Other places you can find live music at are Leidseplein and Stoperaplein (at the Waterlooplein). Across the city, the canals are full of boats with loud music to enhance the lively atmosphere. If you are a fan of Tiesto, you must enjoy the celebration more since you get the chance to watch him perform live for free on Queen’s day. All clubs in Amsterdam organize special programs and different kinds of music as well.

Amsterdam, being famous as a city with exceptional charms like Red light districts, coffee shops and gay bars all around the central area, celebrates Queen’s day in its own way. Usually a big open-air party for gay and gay friendly people is held on the Westermarkt at the Homo Monument (beginning at 11 a.m. on the Queen's day until late in the afternoon), and another one at the Reguliersdwarsstraat, in a 10 minutes walking distance from Leidseplein. Gay bars and clubs also hold different kinds of events on this day.
Though the main activity for this event is to party, you should have your accommodation booked as well since you need a place to rest in between. Party, sleep, party, sleep again & party, that’s the way it should be on Queen’s day. 

See you on Queen’s day in Amsterdam!

Photos and article adapted from:

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