Friday, May 3, 2013

The Last Queen's Day (for now)

Koninginnedag or Queen's Day is now officially King's Day as Queen Beatrix resigned earlier this year making way for her son, now the new King Willem-Alexander to take the throne. On April 30, The Netherlands celebrated the (last) Queen's Day and welcomed a new King, the first in more than a century! It was a fun, exhausting day of celebration and also my first time to see the royal family in person. Well, technically we were behind a thousand other people, but whatever...

If you aren't already familiar, Queen's Day celebrations are known for being over the top with street parties (think live music, dancing and lots of booze), orangjegekte, (participants who dress up in orange, the official color for the Dutch royal family), and vrijmarkts (rummage sales where everyone hawks there unwanted goods on the street for low prices).

Looking for more? You can read more about the holiday in this article by yours truly or check out my previous Queen's Day celebrations here and here.

Everyone (myself included) predicted that Amsterdam would be a complete madhouse while the annual celebration of Queen's Day took place on the same day as a change in royals. But, this was not the case. In fact, my Dutchman (who loves all things vintage and thrifty) was a bit disappointed in shortage of virjmarkt participants. The streets were eerily quiet for what's expected to be a chaotic, crazy celebration! 

This year, I got up early to wander the sidewalk sales for good bargains with my Dutchman...
 Then, we headed into Dam Square to catch a glimpse of Willem-Alexander's inauguration, quite a sight to see but again, not nearly as packed as we'd expected.

Of course, what's a day in Amsterdam without a bit of wandering along the canals? We roamed around the Jordaan with friends and finally met up with a fun group for some biertjes along a quieter waterway. The festivities continued with finding my Mama amongst the orange masses at Nieuwemarkt and naturally, that included a few more drinks, laughs and dancing in the street.

I love celebrating Queen's Day, not just for the party but also because it's a great chance to learn more about the culture and history of my home abroad. Plus, drunk people are much more entertaining to speak Dutch with, ha!

Check out this fun Queen's Day video made by my friend Christian!

Have you ever celebrated Queen's Day or a national holiday in a country different from your own?
Feel free to share your stories in the comments below.


  1. I love this! I really wish I could have jetted over to Amsterdam to celebrate with you all. It looks like it was such an amazing experience. I love that it was not crazy chaotic either. I've celebrated such days here in England and also in Thailand with the Queens Day which is like Mothers Day. I love seeing how countries celebrate due to the camaraderie of a culture.

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

  2. Gah I want ot go to Queens... er King's, day so badly!

  3. Nice Post Lily!

    Thanks for sharing the video on your blog :)

  4. I always had the most fun on koninginnedag/nacht. This post brought back so many memories. Thanks :)