I mean that literally. I’ve just finished packing for our 4-day trip to Amsterdam to see family. Then I remembered, its Queen’s Day or Koninginnedag in the Netherlands on Saturday 30th April…while we’re there.
Its the biggest event of the year in the Netherlands. During the day, people from all over the country celebrate the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina who is the grandmother of Queen Beatrix, the current queen. Queen’s day is an event that everybody looks forward to for the entire year. In the last couple of years it became so big, that even visitors from the rest of Europe came to the Netherlands in order to celebrate together with the Dutch people.
The orange craze, or “oranjegekte” in Dutch, returns to Netherlands on Saturday, when millions of revelers wearing head-to-toe orange will hit the streets across the nation to celebrate Queen’s Day.
The Dutch royal occasion has been celebrated for over 100 years and is the annual official celebration of the Queen’s birthday.
The national holiday is a chance for revelers to take part in “vrijmarkts”, or free markets, play traditional Dutch games with their families, listen to music and get decked out in their best Saturday orange.
The tradition goes back to 1891, when the holiday was created to celebrate the August birthday of Queen Wilhelmina. Queen’s Day was moved to April 30 with the coronation of Queen Juliana in 1948, and has remained on that day during the current reign of Queen Beatrix.
Orange is the official color of the Queen and the royal family, descendants from the House of Orange-Nassau that has played a political role in the Netherlands for roughly half a millennium.
“Around the world, people know Holland for the orange clothes, and Queen’s Day is the biggest orange party in the country,” says Janneke Hendrikx, a public relations officer for the Netherlands Tourism Board.
That’s not why we’re going to Amsterdam but since we’re going to be there anyway, should I also pack something orange to wear on Saturday?