Friday, May 04, 2012

Queen's Day in the Netherlands = ORANGE

Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) in the Netherlands is celebrated every April 30th, rain or shine.  The present queen is Queen Beatrix, whose real birthday is 31 January, but her mother Juliana's birthday was 30 AprilSo the official Queen's Day is, yes, 30 April...unless it's a Sunday, when it's the 29th.  Got it?

Tomorrow Astrid and I fly to England for 6 days, which means I won't be doing a post here next week, so because April 30 was still this week, here's 2 posts in one week since forever and my first post ever on Queen's Day.  Let's just say I finally did something about it.

That's Queen Beatrix in the top-right corner above.  She's 74.
Lang leve de koningin = Long live the Queen.
The Netherlands has been an independent monarchy since 16 March 1815.
The monarchy is governed by the House of Orange-Nassau.
Thus the color orange on Queen's Day!  It's everywhere.
Orange takes precedence over the red, white, and blue of the national flag.
(click to enlarge to see the orange "banner" attached to the flag)

Young and old alike celebrate the day.  It's a national holiday.
It's also the one day of the year when you can sell all your junk, like one huge city-wide flea market.
First come, first served.  Just spread out your blanket and sell away.
Astrid and I bought 7 DVDs for €4 total, and a new Beatrix Potter book in Dutch for €,50.
How can you say NO to that!

(I threw in that too-cute dog on skates for fun.)

Besides the flea market, there are all kinds of activities going on.
This lady was advertising her sculpture classes.

You're never too young to earn a buck or two, right?
Astrid made sure we got the e-mail address for these 2 buskers.  
After all, she and I both played the clarinet in our day!
(And yes, we both wore our orange shirts on a gorgeous, sunshiny day!)

What was it Winnie-the-Pooh said:
"Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon!"

A little bit of something for everyone,
especially if you're not of Dutch heritage.

As you'd guess, this little family stole the show for me.
How can you not get into the swing of things on such a grand day!

By the way, this particular Queen's Day was maybe more festive for the Dutch than most.  More festive because of its sombre nature, if that's possible?  This past February Beatrix's 2nd son, Friso, was buried in a snow avalanche while skiing in Austria and has been in a coma ever since.  Few believe he will make it.  He's 43 and is married, with 2 daughters.  The Dutch came out en masse on Monday to show their love for the Queen and what she's going through.

Lang leve de koningin = Long live the Queen.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Update on our neighborhood renovation (remember the bats?): 

A week ago we were minding our own business when we heard a commotion outside.
All the glass windows/doors on ground level are now boarded up because...
yup, you guessed it.  They've run out of money and need to wait.
They're hoping the boards will keep out strays of whatever sort!
But now I wonder if the bats will come back to roost?

To be continued.....


  1. Oh, I wish we had a day here where everyone would wear orange. What a bright, happy colour! And it makes for great photographs, doesn't it? You've really done a great job of putting it all together again, Ginnie!

  2. Karen: You can imagine how much I love the orange because it's MY color. I can wear it!!! These things are important, of course. :) Thanks for your kind comment.

  3. This Queensday was a great day. The first warm day in weeks. The sun was out. Everybody was in a great mood. It is a Happy Day for us all. A national day of celebrating. You showed the perfect mood of that day. Everybody happy and doing the things they enjoy doing. I have deep respect for our Royal Family. Can you imagine living in a glass house?? .....well they do....
    This is a wonderful Orange post. Have you seen any bats, lately??

  4. I love all the orange! I wouldn't have thought it, but after looking at your photo, I think everyone looks great in orange. There's a lot of orange in SF because of the Giants, so I see it on a lot of people here, too.

    I'm sure the bats will be happy to go back to their hold home. I'd bet on it.

  5. Astrid: Hartstikke bedankt, MLMA. This was my 3rd Queen's Day here but my first time out-n-about to really get the feel of it. The weather was enticing! I LOVE watching the Queen doing her city visits on TV. It's such a feel-good experience, with the involvement of her entire family.

    No, I've seen no bats lately...but Arend said he's seen them in the past. So they're not made up. HA.

    Mad: Maybe orange is one of those universal colors?! How fun is that. It sure is invigorating to see it everywhere.

    I found out this afternoon that they will be start in again on the neighborhood apartments in June. Does that mean they magically found money somewhere???

  6. So sad about the Queen's son.

    And you're not gonna believe this, but I wore, for the first time, a beautiful ORANGE linen shirt yesterday (Friday) that I bought at my favorite consignment shop. Now I know why I just had to wear it yesterday! Lang leve de koningin!

  7. Ruth: Yes, so sad about Friso. We all wonder what will happen to him.

    In the meantime, I LOVE that you found something orange to wear. Your inner Dutch is alive and well! :)

  8. That is so sad about the queen's son.. I did however remember it was queens day.. I would love to be there one year for that. LOVE LOVE LOVED your pics. And yes that little family with face paintings stole the show! :)

  9. ET: I think the Queen became a real person after what happened to her son, Jen. Everyone can identify/grieve with her. It will always make Queen's Day more special and beloved. Maybe one day you can be here for it!

  10. What a wonderful compilation to showcase the day! I so love being in different countries during celebrations such as these. For some reason it always seems there's so much more passion than here in the U.S. (just my opinion!)

  11. Your post brings back marvelous memories of the beautifully sunny Queen's Day I spent in Amsterdam with friends in 1990. Among my favorite memories of that day is the band of middle-school age musicians who played on Kloveniersburgwal beneath the balcony of my friend's apartment where we had champagne, brunch and watched the street scene before going out to wander in the crowds. Another memory is of paddling in a two-person sea kayak on another of the canals closer to the train station in friend Wil's kayak... pretty scary considering how small we were compared to all the other boats on which parties were in full force!

    And I just LOVE all the pictures... the family with the face painting is by far the best of the collages but all are quite wonderful. I continue to be amazed at your photographic and artistic skills and always delight in my visits!

  12. Robin: So true about experiencing how other countries celebrate their holidays! Yes, I agree. However, the one holiday I miss the most is Thanksgiving, which they do NOT celebrate here. I really miss it! :(

    Victoria: I love that you know exactly what I'm talking about, even if Amsterdam is the one city most Dutch try to avoid that one day! It's pure craziness there, as you clearly already know.

    Thank you again for your encouragement with what I do here, which means a lot, as you know.

  13. Ok. Not England. But I don't mind as I love the Netherlands ( thanks to you!). So much fun you have and orange is one of my favorite colors.

  14. Margaret: Orange is one of my favorite colors, too, so I love this country just that much more. :) I'm glad I can share the love.

  15. Awesome and fun! Reminds me of something completely different though: along Ponta Negra beach near Natal in Brazil, the street cleaners all did wear orange clothes :-)))

  16. LCT: Orange is such a great color for so many things, isn't it. It's become one of my favorite colors at this time in my life. :)