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Queen’s day is an amazing crazy day in Amsterdam. This is the day that is well-known in Amsterdam when everyone in the city gets wild in fun and entertainment. It is a unique and carnival like event. This day is celebrated in Netherlands for more than fifty years. Although Amsterdam is famous all over the world for its culture, style and dignity but Queen’s day is the day when everyone enjoys themselves by getting simply wild anyhow. The event is celebrated all over the Europe but the largest celebration is probably in Amsterdam. This is the day that reveals the national unity and togetherness. A large number of visitors flock to Dutch capital for this celebration. This event attracts around 700 thousand visitors every year. This number makes the city over crowded beyond the norms but the atmosphere is traditional, relaxed and full of joy. The weather during these days is also mild; neither very cold nor very hot that suit all the visitors.
Queen's day (Koninginnedag) is celebrated as the birthday of Netherlands former Queen Juliana although nowadays Queen Beatrix is wearing the crown. This tradition started in early nineties when the riots were creating a problem in The Hague, to convey the message that celebration is better than fight. The madness of the people is likely to be seen on this day. A huge crowd is gathered here and people from all over Europe reach Amsterdam to celebrate this day. This is certainly well known as the day of collection of parties. On this day a massive crowd can be seen all over the city in the streets, parks and cruising through the canal in boats. The scenario creates a great excitement when boats full of dancing people having a great fun altogether circulates in the Amsterdam canals. Many boats have their own music also.
The celebration begins a night before and it is called the Queen’s night (Koninginnenacht), the biggest street party when every street corner of the city is occupied with DJ’s, live music and bands. Almost all the restaurants and clubs are busy in their parties. A number of parties are organized in bars and pubs all over the city on Queen’s night. Open air parties are also very common nowadays .These parties are ready to go wild again on 30th April (Queen’s day). Amsterdam looks a very busy city as everyone is busy in either moving from one party to another or busy in preparation for the market on the very next day. The next day by the mid morning the canals fills up with numerous of tiny and big boats of all shapes. The canals are so much packed that one can even walk across the boats.
Live music concert, DJ’s and parties are enjoyed the next day that is on Queen’s Day also. Many of them are busy in singing the traditional songs that describes the beauty and culture of Amsterdam while others are busy with the rock one. Although it is difficult to follow the words of traditional songs but these are quite pleasing to the ears.
People enjoy the festival in orange. You can see orange everywhere in the city as it is their national color. The color orange creates an omnipresent sight with orange banners, orange colored food and drinks, clothing and accessories. At many places even fire crackers with orange smoke and fountains dyed with orange water are explored. Orange craze which is famous as Oranjegekte that refers to the name of Dutch royal family- the House of Orange. Orange balloons bounce in the air, orange flags at boat mast, shop windows, curtains and so on. So, don’t forget to put something orange may be hat, dress, wigs, body paint, and feathers or face paint to enjoy this festival.
Not only this but one can enjoy the free market also. The most entertaining thing on Queen’s day is the free market, famous as Vrijmarkt, a market where stalls of all sorts of items can be seen almost in every street. This is the market which allows everyone to sell any of the articles that are unnecessary at home from food and drink to handicraft items whether it is their old clothes, shoes, articles or anything else. Thus you can see the streets lined with stalls having a variety of items.
These articles could be trade with anyone with neighbor, visitors or some known one. It is a family event and more a social occasion rather than a marketable opportunity. Prices are very nominal for the attics and there are more traces of fun. At some places the prices are too low as it is considered just a source of enjoyment and having a friendly chat with the strangers rather than commercial trade. According to Dutch Government, this day is a national holiday. People don’t have to pay taxes on their sales on this day. They set up stalls in the parks or sidewalk or even on the roads. Thus this is an extremely profitable day.
Vondelpark is the site for younger children and family activity. Here children feel proud to display their lemonade stands, homemade puppet etc. For small children also there is a lot to enjoy as children’s game, music concerts, individual dances, face painting, games, theatrical performances, food vendors and many more. Children also sell their cast off toys and clothes with other fun activities.
Be Careful - When you are moving to enjoy in crowd it’s better to leave your valuable things in your hotels but don’t forget to carry change in your pocket if you want to buy something in the market. Food and drink stalls are available as the main food stores are open on the Queen’s day. You are not allowed to carry more than one alcohol drink with you. It is better to wear some comfortable shoes as you might have to walk a lot.
The city is so crowded that the transportation is not possible. Cars are not allowed in the main city areas and public transport also has a fixed schedule. As there is a huge crowd of visitors so booking at hotels and apartments at the last minute could create a problem and you could be deprived of enjoying the festival. For this day people usually make their booking several days before. So if you plan to travel Amsterdam in these days then book Your Hotels in advance as the prices touches the peak in these days.
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