Koninginnedag 2012

The Dutch celebrate an annual orange crush – Queen’s day, or Koninginnedag – a national holiday like no other, on the Queen’s birthday each year. Though, really, they are such considerate people they reschedule her cold, wintery birthdate to April to assure enjoyable weather.

Nobody at last year’s event knew it would be the last regular celebration for quite some time. Beloved Queen Beatrix abdicated the throne to her son Willem-Alexander today, so it’ll be King’s Day for quite a while.

Backstory and history aside, what an experience!

Tricia and I were armed with a few orange outfits, and lots of smiles:
On the road to Amsterdam

Queen’s Night kicked off the pandemonium and served as a preview of what was to come:
Queen's Night

Queen’s Day started with a nationwide garage sale – I snapped this picture from our hotel room quite early that morning:
Queen's Day

The streets and parks were packed with booths and tables full of folks doing all kinds of things to earn (tax-free) money, like flipping pancakes to fund their upcoming wedding…
Queen's Day

Or letting people throw eggs at their face:
Queen's Day

How’s about a Queen-themed beanbag toss?
Queen's Day game

I loved everyone’s ingenuity and creativeness, and the fact that lots of booths were family affairs – even tiny kids got in on the action. And we could tell the day was full of family traditions.

As the day progressed, so did the party:
Queen's Day

Queen's Day

Queen's Day

Queen's Day

We were lucky enough to meet up with Rachel – it felt like spending time with an old friend since we’ve followed each other online for a few years.
Music brings the people together
Rachel’s the one wearing Orange. Ha! That’s her in the middle.

And it was crazy that we said good-bye, and then ran into her in the crowd again later – considering the masses, what were the chances!?
Queen's Day

Queen's Day on Leidsegracht

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to the Bulldog (if you’re a tourist, and I am. And no, we didn’t smoke any.)
The Bulldog

We were pretty tired by the end of the day…
Tricia relaxing

And ended the day like Queens.
our Queen's Day finale

Tune in tomorrow – there are lots of tulips, bicycles, and windmills coming up next!

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