Moving to Holland is not easy, but it's worth the effort. This blog tells the story of shifting from American life in Pittsburgh to Expat life in the Netherlands,
and all of our European adventures that follow.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Queen's Day (& night)

- April 30, 2009

In Holland, April 30 is Queen's Day, which is a holiday set aside to celebrate the Queen's birthday. Although it is not the birthday of the current Queen, Beatrix (we like to call her Trixy, haha). It was actually the birthday of the her grandmother. Then Trixy's mother took over the crown on April 30th, and she kept the date to honor her mother. So, Beatrix also kept the date as April 30, so that the date of the holiday would be the same every year, and because the weather is usually nicer in April than on her own birthday, in February.

So, there was your Dutch history lesson for the day boys and girls. ;) Anyway, the most important part of Queen's Day, like any birthday, is really the partying. People in every city of the country have an open market, where they can sell their own stuff. Sort of like a giant garage sale. The pubs have parties, there are often live bands throughout the city (especially in The Hague & Amsterdam), and fireworks at the end of the night.

We also found out about Queen's Night, which is celebrated mostly in The Hague on the night before Queen's Day. A group of us headed up there for the night to see what all of the fuss was about; Chad and I, Anna, Laura, Dayrina, Jake and Erin, Toyer & Hanna. We ended up in a plaza that did not have a live band, but all of the pubs around the square were playing music, and there were food and beer vendors everywhere, like at a festival. It was fun just hanging around outside with our buddies, and people watching.

The next day on Queen's Day, we decided to stay in Rotterdam, instead of deal with the masses of people in Amsterdam. Sadly, that morning during the parade where the Queen was riding down the street, a crazy person tried to hit the bus she was riding in, but instead plowed his car through the crowd of people watching. There were some fatalities, and a bunch of injuries. Very sad. Needless to say, this was a very somber tone for the rest of the day. Concerts and fireworks were canceled in most areas.

Although, when that all happened, most people were already out on the streets selling their wares, and sitting in pubs. So there was still a lot going on. We all met up at the beer garden in the back of Boudewijn, which was a nice quiet place to chill. Then we went to dinner at Bazar. Delicious as always. So, all in all Queen's Day wasn't too crazy this year. Maybe next year we'll take a trip up to Amsterdam and immerse ourselves in the mayhem.


Some more pics of Queen's Night and Queen's Day:

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