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Queen's Day

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Koninginnedag_2005_amsterdam2.jpg
Koninginnedag in Amsterdam, 2005
Missing image
Koninginnedag_2005_amsterdam.jpg
Koninginnedag in Amsterdam, 2005

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. In her day, Queen Juliana welcomed people who came to the Soestdijk Palace. She and her family would stand on a dais, and a long file of citizens would walk past, congratulating the Queen and giving her presents.

Activities

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.

The holiday is also a "free market" day where people set up stalls at the roadside to sell household goods they no longer need.

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.

Since Queen's Day is a national holiday many people also go out and party on the evening of Queen's Day, called Queen's Night, Koninginnenacht in Dutch. The Hague in particular is renowned for its free open air concerts at various locations throughout the centre of the city which attract thousands of people.fr:Koninginnedag nl:Koninginnedag

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