Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Koninginnedag - Queen's Day

Queen's Day (Dutch: Koninginnedag) is a celebration in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba on April 30 (or April 29th if the 30th is a Sunday). It started as a celebration of the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962), on August 31. After 1948 Koninginnedag moved to April 30 (the birthday of Queen Juliana). When Queen Beatrix came into power (1980), she decided to keep the holiday on April 30th as a tribute to her mother.
On the 30th of April Queen Beatrix visits one or two towns where she is shown traditional Dutch dances and demonstrations of old crafts. Usually her family comes along, which is a real treat for all those who love anything royal.

It is also a day when lots of Dutch people go a little crazy, oranjegekte (= orange craze). There are orange banners, orange colored foods and drinks, and you see lots of people wearing orange clothing and creative accessories. The oranjegekte refers to House of Orange, the name of the Dutch royal family. When abroad you see this oranjegekte at international soccer matches when our team is playing, but you will surely see this oranjegekte at the Olympics coming summer.

The next couple of days most of Holland is enjoying some free time as the 30th is a national holiday, but Thursday is a national holiday too.

By the way, coming Friday I will be going to Paris. I have to give a presentation Saturday!!


Jackie said...

Hi Helen, Thanks for sharing some Dutch tradition and history. Very interesting. Enjoy Paris!

Karol-Ann said...

Happy Holidays!