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The Day The Dutch Go Nuts On April 30th, the population of Holland celebrates my 72nd birthday. Queen’s Day is the largest celebration in Holland – a major expression of joy, creativity and typical Dutch culture. On Queen’s Day, Koninginnedag in Dutch, almost everybody has a day off to enjoy the abundant festivities – in larger cities already starting on the evening of the 29th. The biggest attraction, however, are the people themselves. Most Dutch people are not fervent monarchists, but, like me, they are not going to pass up on the opportunity for a good old knees-up! For foreigners, Queen’s Day is a great moment to be in Holland. This magazine, especially produced for me by the friendly young folk at Dutch Image, gives an
Jurjen Drenth & Martin Kers
impression of what is awaiting you, including information on my visit to the province of Zeeland. It also explains why the Dutch adopted orange as their national colour. And it traces Dutch influences overseas, in The Big Orange and Brazilian Recife. So may we, Beatrix, Queen of Holland, invite you all – Dutch and non-Dutch alike – to join in the festivities of April 30th, hoping this magazine will bring you in the right spirits. Talking of such – the Snacks & Shots page offers just the right suggestions to get your party going.
Martijn de Rooi
Maarten van der Kroft
On stage Always dreamt of performing in front of a huge audience? Here is your chance! Whatever your age and whatever youâ€™re doing, people will love it!
Orange fever Usually Dutch people don’t dress in orange, but on Queen’s Day you’ll be the talk of the town if you don’t at least wear an orange wig.
Whose birthday is it anyway?
Surprise! April 30th is not the birthday of Queen Beatrix, but that of her late mother, Juliana. The monarchâ€™s actual birthday is on the 31st of January, but as the Dutch winter is less than ideal for a national party, Beatrix decided on her coronation in 1980 that the birthday of her mother would continue to be used. Holland is probably the only country where the royal birthday is not actually celebrated on the day itself.
Bargain hunting Everybody is allowed to sell his or her old junk in the streets, and a lot of second-hand stuff changes hands for knockdown prices. Early morning tens of thousands of Dutch people set off for the ubiquitous flea markets, in a colourful parade of overloaded bicycles, bulging shopping trolleys and old prams. The best spots on these markets are already taken the evening before â€“ early birds will happily spend the night on the pavement, in between the rubbish they kept in their attics for years.
Royal photography Merrymakers posing at a fleamarket as Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his Argentinean wife Mรกxima Zorreguieta.
Queen for one day Strolling through the city, you might come across all sorts of queens, although rarely true Beatrix look-alikes.
In the old fishing village of Marken, the streets are adorned with strings of flags in honour of the Queenâ€™s birthday.
oranďż˝ Colour of merriment and monarchs
�� illiam II
Orange is the Dutch national colour. National sports teams are traditionally dressed in orange, and the national football team is known worldwide as The Orange Machine. The reason behind this is that one of the two cradles of the Dutch Royal House was the 16th-century principality of Orange, in the south of present-day France – the other being the medieval county of Nassau, in what is now Germany. The founder of the House of Orange-Nassau was Prince William I (1533-1584), nicknamed the Father of the Fatherland. Since then, the histories of both are closely intertwined.
The Dutch flag explained On Queen’s Day, Holland is a sea of red, white and blue – the colours of the Dutch flag, which originated in the days of the Father of the Fatherland. The uppermost bar used to be orange, while blue was the colour of the House of Nassau. Later the orange made way for red, but on Queen’s Day and the birthdays of the crown prince and his wife and children an orange pennant is attached to the top of the flagpole.
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New York Even so, the original Dutch flag is still flown. Not in Holland, but in New York. The official flag of the metropolis differs from the 16th-century Dutch flag on two points only: the orange, white and blue are displayed vertically and the white bar bears the city seal. This includes four windmill sails, flanked by a 17th-century Dutch colonist and an Indian from the island of Manahatta (Manhattan). Below the seal is the date 1625, the year in which the Dutch bought the island from the Indians and founded New Amsterdam, the city that was to become New York.
Nassau In New York, not just the flag, but also street names like Nassau Street remind of the Dutch era. Due to the flourishing trade and the colonial adventures of the Dutch, the names of Nassau and Orange are found all over the world. Even in Brazilian football grounds. The Brazilian football club Sport Club do Recife is sponsored by the cement maker Cimento Nassau. In this particular case the name Nassau refers to Johan Maurits van Nassau, governor of the 17thcentury colony of New Holland in Brazil.
folk dancing sack racing
making bobbin lace
30 april 2010 WE
MELDING E MIDDELB urG
According to tradition, the Queen and several members of her family visit two towns. This year the royal tour leads to Wemeldinge and Middelburg, both in the province of Zeeland.
s l a y ro r u o t n o
wemeldinge The picturesque village, part of the municipality of Kapelle, dates from the 11th century and has 3,100 inhabitants. Among the places worth seeing are two windmills which are regularly open to the public.
Dorpsstraat Marina (right, above) Grote Kerk (right, below)
r o ya l
on tou s r middelburg Middelburg (48,000 inhabitants), founded in the 9th century, is an attractive historic city. A famous sight is the Walcheren Model Village (Miniatuur Walcheren). Among its many monuments is the magnificent town hall and the equally impressive abbey. Tip: wait until the royal company has left, and then take a walk in the old town centre.
ď Ž Walcheren Model Village.
Middelburg: Café De Mug (left, above) Saturday market and town hall (left, below); Kuiperspoort (centre) Saint George and the Dragon, ornament on top of the Sint-Jorisdoelen (right, above) Windmill De Hoop (right, below).
r o ya l s
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Folkloristic feast The band Juliana from Marken puts on a Queenâ€™s Day show in their home village. On her visits in honour of her birthday, the Queen is traditionally treated on folkloristic activities like this. Demonstrations of clog-making, folk dancing, herring-gutting and sack racing are popular features on the royal programme.
Tompouce The tompouce (millefeuille, napoleon) is a popular Dutch birthday treat and, coloured orange for the royal occasion, one of many special â€˜orangeâ€™ delicacies.
Consumption of a tompouce requires special skills. Practice makes perfect.
Oranjebitter Oranjebitter (orange bitters) is a liqueur, traditionally consumed on the occasion of royal festivities. Beware: a few glasses of this firewater might bring your Queenâ€™s Day to an untimely end.
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Kwartet, I Presume? Get to know the Dutch while playing a typically Dutch card game. The brandnew kwartet game The Dutch, I presume? provides a humorous insiderâ€™s look into Dutch society. This highly original and super-Dutch relationâ€™s gift will be available in May. Order now if you want to be among the first players.
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Queen's Day is the largest celebration in Holland. On April 30th, millions of people take to the streets to party, transforming the country...