Queen's birthday/Αμστερντααααμ!

Yesterday ,April the 30th, was the official birthday of Queen Beatrix of Holland. And as in every year, the whole city was a car-free-steeped -in -"orange madness"- huge-beer-drinking party!!
We planned our third trip to Amsterdam-in 2006- just for the celebratory day-and night-long fair :)

The "Dutch Queen's birthday" has a rather interesting story.It was decreed as a national holiday in 1890 by Queen Wilhelmina,whose birthday was-very conveniently- on August 31st. It was warm and everyone could be outdoors celebrating.
Next on the throne was Queen Juliana,born on April 30th. Ok, so April is not ideal for outdoors in Holland,but it served well. 
It was with the next-and present-queen that there was a problem. 
Queen Beatrix was born ON JANUARY!! :((

Bad idea to have an al-fresco party on January... But the Dutch are so practical minded,cool people and they did not let tradition stop the fun.
Can't have the party on January? No problem,we keep the former queens birthday:)

On April 30th there are all kinds of bands in the streets of Amsterdam ,puppet theatre and clowns for the children, while barges go up and down the canals laden with people dressed in orange-for the House of Orange,the ruling family of Holland.

What makes it so much more fun,is the "free-market". It is the only day of the year every Dutch has a right to sell second hand items.
All the city is a giant garage sale!!!!!
It doesn't get any better!!!!!
Wait!!! It does. Dozens of people cooking in their homes and offering or selling sweets and hot dogs and fried potatoes with Ketchup and all kinds of punch/sangria/wine/beer.

We had a wonderful time and if you plan a visit to Amsterdam,plan it to coincide with the Queens birthday!!!!


  1. It's funny but I have never planned a trip to coincide with a celebration going on where I plan to travel. But it makes great sense, and what a fantastic time you must have had with all of these revelers! I also enjoyed the story and thought it was very amusing that they would move this birthday celebration only so far back into the months of cold!

    *wistful sigh* All of your posts about travelling have me whimpering in envy. We can only take short day trips around here for the time being because of our situation. However, when we finally switch over to doing web design full time and start getting a fair amount of money to fund our trips, Steve and I are very excited to travel again--something we both adore!

    It's very nice to read and see pictures of your trips and they give us ideas on places to travel some day when we are able! :)

  2. Oh,I'm sure you will be on the road again soon:)
    We also had to cut drasticaly on our trips. The crisis here is far from over, we can weather it out, but trips only as far as the Greek islands (thank God there are plenty).
    Let's hope things will go better soon for you and for us so we can meet in Delhi, or Malaysia (I'll post about a heavenly resort there)or -even better-Havana and have fun :))

  3. Sounds like a wonderful plan!! :)

  4. By the way! In Anne Frank's autobiography, she mentioned Juliana and I thought of you and your post! :)