The Netherlands will celebrate the Queen's Birthday

The Netherlands will celebrate the Queen's Birthday
The Netherlands will celebrate the Queen's Birthday

On April 30 the Netherlands will celebrate its most important holiday – Queen Juliana’s Birthday. The story about the queens and their birthdays is quite confusing. The fact is that the Queen Juliana is not the currently ruler. Queen Juliana ruled the country from 1948 to 1980 until she abdicated in favor of her daughter Beatrix, which is still on the throne. However, the Dutch so much got accustomed to celebrate the Queen's Birthday on April 30 that they decided to celebrate the holiday on the same day. Moreover, Beatrix was crowned on April 30 too. So, this day is now the Queen's Birthday (Konninginnedag) regardless of the birth date of the ruling monarch.

Konninginnedag is a truly national holiday, which is loved by the locals. Most of them even have special orange costumes (the colors of the Orange - Nassau royal House) especially for this holiday. However, streets of the Dutch cities and towns are full of orange garlands, balloons, banners. All street decorations on this day are of the same color. Although Beatrix and her life are rarely mentioned in the press, on April 30 her portraits can be seen everywhere.

The holiday begins on the past day evening, the so-called "Queen's night." In the Hague, where is located the Queens’s palace, starts a big music festival, which lasts until morning. And in the morning car traffic on the main streets of all major Dutch cities stops and parades in honor of the Queen begin. Another significant event is Freimarket - the "free market". It means that on April 30 all stores can sell goods without VAT, and buyers will automatically receive a 30% discount on all products.

Ilya Kozlovskiy

Date: 29/04/2012

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