Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day), Amsterdam

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I was in Amsterdam last week on 30th April and experienced the extraordinary, crazy and bizarre party atmosphere of the Queen’s Day celebration. The streets in central Amsterdam are all blocked off to traffic, that means no cars, no taxis, no trams and also no canal ferries. The streets are lined with stalls selling all manner of junk as well as a large variety of food and drink. The Dutch seem to focus very much on the latter activity and start drinking seriously from the early hours of the morning all through the day and into the evening. There are many small concerts and discos pumping out music all over adding to the party atmosphere. All in all it makes the Mardi Gras look like a children’s tea party!
This video I took of some local musicians gives a small taste of the day’s activities. I have other photos and video from some of the real crazy boat parties which I will post at a later date. I would love to find out who this duo are as the music they played was excellent …. anyone know who they are?
Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 30 April (or on the 29th if the 30th is a Sunday), Koninginnedag is the official birthday of Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix’s actual birthday is 31 January; 30 April was the birthday of her mother and predecessor, Juliana. The holiday remains as an April observance in honor of Juliana and in hopes of better weather than would be encountered in January.
In recent years, Koninginnedag has become more and more of an open-air party, with many concerts and special events in public spaces, particularly in Amsterdam, with expected crowds of up to 800,000. A major concert is held on the Museumplein in Amsterdam. To aid visitors in returning home by train after the major events, outdoor events must end by 20.00 and the Museumplein show by 21.00.

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