Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Koninginnedag

2013_NLD_F4_1807Koninginnedag is Queen's Day in the Netherlands, and besides being marked in an explosion of orange, the Dutch also celebrate the holiday by having a vrijmarkt - which is one huge outdoor flea market. I was in the Netherlands in the spring of 2013 and got to experience what will be the last Koninginnedag for my generation. Willem-Alexander ascended to the throne the same day, so the holiday will be known as Koningsdag (King's Day) for the rest of his reign.

With the double celebration of Queen Beatrix's last Koninginnedag and the coronation of Willem-Alexander, it seemed that everyone in the country was out on the street. When I say "the streets were packed", I really mean it! As with all of my blog posts, you can see a higher, better resolution image just by clicking on the photo.

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I wondered what the dogs' view of all of these people was, so I got down for a look.

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Not all of the dogs were happy to see me get down to their level. One or two were very suspicious of my motives, at least they were suspicious until I explained to them what I was doing.

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With a little looking around you could find some colourful, interesting things for sale.

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There were quite a few philosophical signs on the street. Some were quaint, some were quirky, but of all of the signs I saw, I thought this one deserved my camera's attention.

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There were bands marching around the streets, performing.

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These girls found a unique way of showing their orange-ness

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Much of the vrijmarkt is about kids. Some really put a lot of effort into their operation, such as this cook,

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this musician,

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or these girls performing a duet of violin and dance.

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I found the kids usually quite observant and more than one of them saw me shooting. But they did not seem to mind.

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It seemed to me that the vrijmarkt is about kids and family.

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Of course all of those people need to eat, and I often saw long queues for french fries.

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Many of the restaurants were cooking and serving out front, which made it easy to get food.

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While this holiday may no longer be Queen's Day, the Dutch seem to love their new queen, so I suspect there will continue to be a queenly element going forward. I saw quite a few pictures of Máxima on the streets.

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Here is a slide show of some of the photos I took during my walkabout during koninginnedag.




All the posts from my trip to the Netherlands are here:

House of Oranje
Koninginnedag
Postcards from Kuekenhof
Rijksmuseum
Train Stations
More Museums
Dutch (S)Treat
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