A F***ing Huge Oranje Street Party
Pardon the French, but just saying the Koninginnedag celebration is massive would be a severe understatement. Frankly, if more people were using this validly expletive language to describe this holiday, then maybe we would have heard of it before.
This is Europe’s largest street party, where everyone dresses in your favorite color(orange), drinks beer(in Orange cans) and rejoices in the overall “orange madness”; and the Oranje Explorers have never heard of it?
Yes, that’s right. We’ve never heard of it.
Although, in our defense, if you are not up on your Netherlands monarchy, then it is not so unlikely that you would have never heard of this patriotic celebration. We surely hadn’t, but you can image our delight in the realization that not only did this event exist but the timing of it was when we were living within walking distance of the festival’s epicenter!
Nearly 2 million people fill the streets of Amsterdam.
It was a very special year to be introduced to the holiday as 2013 was the last year of the Queen’s Day celebration. Queen Beatrix has handed down her throne to her son William, and so the holiday now changes from Queen’s Day to King’s Day going forward.
We knew little of what to expect, but were elated to be participating with the whole country as they joyously paraded the streets in Orange.
Even the religious Hare Krishna devotees (who are known for wearing Orange) get involved.
Part of the “Orange craze” is also what the Dutch call in English, “free market” where anyone can sell in the streets.
They sell anything from second-hand goods…
To fresh squeezed orange juice.
Everyone gets involved, including the young and the old. You see children in the street selling their old toys and drinks.
People spill from the streets onto party barges…
Dance and drink on rooftops…
And sing, as they float down the canal.
The crowds may be massive yet there is little trouble, with only rejoiceful celebration in the air.
Not all amazing events need to be planned, organized and researched. Sometimes, if you are extraordinarily lucky like we were for Queen’s Day, these special experiences can find you. And this my friends, is why we are traveling the world – in order to stumble upon amazing experiences, like Queen’s Day.