Queen's Day

Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) is the national holiday when Holland turns orange and celebrates Queen's official birthday and the anniversary of her coronation. Everywhere in the city you'll see orange colored foods and drinks, orange banners and crowns. So don't forget to bring your orange t-shirt if you want to join this Orange Craze! It is celebrated throughout the country either on 29th or 30th of April.

Queen’s Day is the birthday of former Queen Juliana (1909-2004). The current queen, Queen Beatrix, Juliana’s daughter was born on January 31. On April 30, 1980, Beatrix became the Queen. Her birthday is on January 31, but the date of Queen's Day remained the same as the way of honoring Juliana.

The national flag of the Netherlands consists of three colored stripes: red, white and blue. On this day an orange strip of cloth is hung above it. It is a symbol of the Royal Dutch Family. The majority of people colors their faces orange, wear orange clothes or even paint their hair. They put all the efforts into showing their appreciation and respect to the Royal Family. The most popular accessories are orange crowns and other things that combine the orange color with some symbol of the royal family.

In Amsterdam you will find numerous street markets and hear music from every corner. It is not a secret that the Dutch love to drink to the health of their Queen. But taken into account the amount of alcohol consumed, there should be enough health not only to Beatrix, but to the entire Royal Dynasty. The traditional drink on Queen's Day is orange bitter. Even the restaurants serve special "Queen's Day" meals. Be aware that cafes and restaurants in Holland may close earlier than usual. 

The celebration starts on the eve before Queen’s Day. There are public music performances and street parties. Some events continue till the daybreak when the actual Queen's Day starts. There are a lot of official musical performances and parades. The song of the day is "Het Wilhelmus", it describes the life of William of Orange and what he did for the Dutch. On this day it can be heard everywhere: on the TV, radio stations and on the streets. The Members of Royal Family very often participate in the numerous activities and greet thousands of people who turn out to see them. The whole event is usually broadcast live on television.

It is usually a day off for the majority of the Dutch. It is also the only day in the year when people can sell things on the streets without licenses. It is a perfect chance for the citizens to get rid of unnecessary things.