Queenâ€™s Day celebrations in Amsterdam can best be described as a cross between a massive street party, tailgate, flea market, Spring Break and Booze Cruise in all shades of bright orange. A massive holiday meant to celebrate the Queenâ€™s Birthday, this year it was celebrated on Saturday April 29th, though the revelry started Friday night and should end by Sunday morning. We had no idea we were landing in Amsterdam a day before this amusing and outrageous mayhem, but the shutdown of almost all tourist attractions and the fortunate fact that we have WIFI access in our hotel room means I get to post an entry about itâ€¦
It seems that about 2/3 of the entire population of the Netherlands is in Amsterdam today. The morning started out with thousands of folks putting out their old things in a massive citywide sidewalk sale. Itâ€™s like everyone is engaging in a massive â€œIâ€™ll take your white elephant if you take mineâ€¦â€ On a walk about town, there are merchants all over selling stuff on the streets (mostly kitsch or Divisoria type stuff) as well as silly folks making money by making themselves targets for raw eggsâ€¦ My daughter couldnâ€™t resist and paid two euro to throw two eggs at the targetâ€¦
As the day wore on, dozens of concert sites throughout the city were set up and music was blaring at ear popping levels. The constant pounding of what I can only describe as â€œclub musicâ€ and â€œdance musicâ€ can be heard from major squares and parks to small side streets. This is one time I am actually thrilled that we didnâ€™t get a canal view room as the sound is incredibly loud. Our canal seems to be the site of much of the activity and hundreds of boats float by with dozens of revelers dancing, drinking and acting silly. Itâ€™s just one big party and I suspect the country consumes more beer on this day than any otherâ€¦ And geez, the smell of pot is frequently in the air…it’s legal here I suppose!
As for the bizarre color orange, it seems the Queen is descended from the â€œHouse of Orange-Nassauâ€ hence the use of this striking color in shirts, hats, boas, face paint, etc. I have never seen so much orange in my life! We took a canal tour earlier today and our boat had difficulty maneuvering and gently struck a couple of smaller boats in the canal trafficâ€¦ but it was all in the spirit of fun and Amsterdam is such a nice small city to throw such a massive partyâ€¦ most of the photos in this post were taken by my daughterâ€¦she was amazed by the goings on todayâ€¦ Happy Queenâ€™s Day!!!