first things first, queen’s day happened

21 May 2012

in amsterdam,going dutch,something new,the netherlands

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My first Queen’s Day in the Netherlands!  To think I had NO IDEA that this holiday even existed before I moved abroad…and that I believed it most certainly impossible to find hundreds of thousands of people all wearing Orange simulateously anywhere outside of Tiger Town…wrong I was.

Queen’s Day is quite the festive day here in the Netherlands.  Celebrated each year on the Queen’s birthday, millions gather in Amsterdam, boasting their Orange apparel & football-tailgating-esque attitudes.

Well, if you want to get technical, Queen Beatrix’s birthday is actually January 31st.  It’s her Mother’s birthday, the late Queen Juliana, that was on April 30th.  Since the weather happens to be much more agreeable for outdoor celebrations now than in January, Queen Beatrix formally celebrates her birthday on this date as well…isn’t that thoughtful!

Whether you are roaming the streets on foot or by boat, you’d be hard pressed to not have a good time.  This year, lucky we were: the weather was in our favor, gorgeously sunny.  {So lucky, in fact, that it rained the day before & after…but not on.}


Hey you Sox fans - spot the Boston cap?  That’s no coincidence, we spent the afternoon navigating the maze of people with some of our best friends here in Amsterdam. 

They live in the center of Amsterdam in a fabulous neighborhood, enveloped by canals & row houses that are typical of the scenes found on ”Amsterdam” postcards.

When we were getting weary of battling the crowds, we’d make a quick stop at their apartment for a bathroom break & leisurely beer.  Vedett has quickly become a personal favorite.


Even their dog Desi dressed up for the occasion.  

No Queen’s Day post would be complete without mentioning the giant outdoor “markets”, found on every street & corner, throughout the country.  In the Netherlands, Queen’s Day is the only tax-free day of the year, for things sold on the sidewalks.  Obviously, this translates to “cast your trash {which very well could be someone else’s treasure…right??} onto the sidewalk & see if you’re lucky enough to catch a fish”.  Individuals crowd the streets & mark their territory with chalk days before, to setup shop & sell their…treasures.  

No treasures you’re willing to part with?  No problem – you can still make a quick buck.  Euro.  Whatever.  For it’s also common to see children {& some adults} perform acts and shows and demonstrations, looking for a donation in exchange.   Below are two ballerinas dancing to their music:

Of course, being the shopper that PAB is, he just had to cash in the markets.  There were just so.many.good.things. to buy, he couldn’t resist. 

And successful he was, for by the end of the day, PAB was the proud new owner of a firetruck & a life-saver-buoy thing.

All in all, it was a fabulous day & I am already excited to make plans for next year, which will most definitely involve the boat + a stroll through the “children’s market” in Vondelpark.   It might not be gameday in Tigertown, but Queen’s Day certainly holds its own.



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Lily @ May 21, 2012

Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! The fact that Queen’s Day was almost a month ago means it’s been waaaaay too long since we’ve hung out, can’t wait to see you and the gals for book club night! x


elz May 23, 2012

i know right?! good thing BC is…TONIGHT!


roastypeps May 21, 2012

Great posting, ELZ. Your photos and captions provide a lively description of your experience. You even got smiling photos of PAB!


Gesci May 22, 2012

This looks like tons of fun!! Love the Clemson reference and gear- we’re UGA alum, so I think that makes us all friends over here in Europe, right?? (It’d be different if you were wearing orange for Florida… :) )


elz May 23, 2012

i almost went to UF…apparently it’s a good thing i chose clemson, huh? ; )


Alex May 22, 2012

Seriously just put this on my calendar for next year – must happen. Is my Texas burnt orange allowed or are we stickin strictly with the tradish orange shade?


elz May 23, 2012

yes do it! orange is orange here…lots of mixing & matching in fact.


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