My first Koninginnedag – so much for the orange….

1 05 2008

Here in the Netherlands, the love of orange and the patriotic spirit is never more on display then on Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day (April 30).  This year we didn’t travel into any of the major cities or into the main part of Amersfoort, but instead stayed here Emiclaer.  So the festivities weren’t as sha-bang as they would be in Amsterdam or Rotterdam.  But we still were able to see all the um, treasures? (note: picture to the left) that people had for sale.  Let’s just say that April 30 is probably the biggest garage sale I’ll ever see.  But first a little history about Queen’s Day…

It’s a national holiday celebrated on April 30th of every year for the Queen’s “birthday”. Originally the tradition started on August 31 1885 for Queen Wilhelmina.  Then since 1949, the date was changed to April 30th for Queen Juliana.  And now the current Queen Beatrix’s birthday is January 31st she still officially celebrates it on April 30th.   Also on this day people are allowed to sell things on the streets, known as a vrjimarkt (free market).  During the celebrations people dress in the colour orange, referring to the The House of Orange -Nassau,  which is sometimes called “orange craze”.  I’m not going to get into the history of the whole House of Orange-Nassau thing, that will take me all day.   But if you want to see more about Koninginnedag or other interesting fact about the Royal Family here in the Netherlands you can click the link http://www.koninklijkhuis.nl/english/index.jsp As for the orange, the amount that was out there on the streets would make any deer hunter proud.

Granted I’m not too sure about this guy!  But he was trying hard to sell those lovely lamps.

Along with the yard sale, there were kids busking which was cute to see, a few of the vendors had grabcans for 0.10 euro or so.  The majority of things are sold for a couple euros or cents and if you are lucky, you can find some deals.  I on the other hand didn’t need more junk in the house, since Ashley and Brianna were trying to sell it.  They actually did quite well too.  Now to only take a small percentage for rent and food.  Queen’s Day is a good way to get rid of stuff in the house though, I just didn’t have enough time to go through it all this year…but NEXT year is a whole new story!! Bahahwahahaah *rubs hands evily*

It was a low key day for us here in Amersfoort, the weather wasn’t all that… I wasn’t feeling all that…and well…the Oranje just wasn’t blazing.  Maybe next year we’ll go into Utrecht for something different so I can get the full Dutchie experiance.  But the thought of drinking beer at 10am is a little revolting… even if it is orange.

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