We are celebrating the queen’s birthday, and we do that by taking the day off, dressing up in orange (the name of the Dutch royal family is ‘The House of Orange’) and celebrating!
The evening before Queen’s Day is called Queen’s Night, and special events are organized around all the Dutch towns. It’s a good night to go out (if you can find a sitter)!
The real Queen’s Day, however, is fun for the entire family.
The Dutch government allows tax-free sales on this specific day, so the streets in the Netherlands transform into one big flee-market. (We call it ‘free-market’). Prices are super-low, because most people regard it as a chance to have fun, chat with complete strangers and get rid of some rubbish as a bonus! Children love having their own ’stall’ (blanket on the pavement with merchandise) - and in fact here in Amsterdam, the famous Vondelpark is reserved just for children.
There are loads of other activities: there’s theater, music, and EVERYBODY who has a boat takes it out on the canals (we say that on Queen’s Day you can walk over the water — the canals are simply covered with boats)!
It’s a crazy, fun day and it’s 100% Dutch. I dare to say, where ever you are in the world — if you spot someone on the streets today dressed (partly) in orange, big chance he or she is Dutch!!!
Happy Queen’s Day!