Saturday April 30 the Queen’s Birthday

Written by Jack van Ommen on April 30th, 2011

It is not the current Queen, Beatrix, birthday but the birthday of her mother the previous queen Juliana, it remains the official annual holiday.

I still remember the fireworks on August 31, one day after our mother’s birthday, of queen Wilhelmina. Then every self respecting Dutchman displayed the national colors from the window sill or on a flag pole and wore a small orange ribbon. Now you see very few flags but as the pictures speak for themselves every self respecting (and even non respected Dutchmen and wannabee Dutchmen/women) Dutch burgher is decked out in orange. 

On this day the city allows any one to clean out their garages and attics and sell their wares on the street. It is one great party. 300,000 travelled by public transportation into the city since yesterday and all are leaving this afternoon/evening. Many of the streets are blocked to other than pedestrians and bicycles. There were streams running across the Leidse square where the porta potties were overflowing from the beer guzzling party crowd. Empty beer cans and trash everywhere. But by the time the Queen has read her morning paper the clean up crews will have this all under control.

The weather is still incredibly pleasant. Read my lips: It will go back to normal when I leave here on Tuesday. The Romanians will be my next benefactors.


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