Netherlands celebrates Queen's Day

by Loui Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe New Bureau

Posted at May 02 2012 10:03 PM | Updated as of May 03 2012 06:03 AM

AMSTERDAM - The whole Netherlands became a gigantic flea market as the nation celebrated Queen's Day on April 30, in honor of the Royal House of Oranje.

 Photo by by Loui Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe New Bureau

People were happy because it is the biggest event in the country that everyone waits and prepares for.

The citizens also felt a sense of peace because just days before, the government collapsed on the disagreements among the parties on how to slash
the budget deficit in order to meet the Eurozone target.

But the crisis was staved off when the 5-party coalition finally approved an austerity package.

"I think the government really assumed their responsibility of taking a stand and making it happen in this difficult and challenging economic times
and also with regards to the position of the Netherlands within Europe. So that’s something extra to celebrate again today," Henriette BW told ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau.

April 30 is called "Koninginnedag" or Queen’s Day because it is the birthday of reigning Queen Beatrix’s mother, Juliana. When Queen Beatrix
took over the throne, she decided to continue the tradition.

Orange, which is the national color of Holland, covered the whole country.

Various new and used goods lined up the streets on the only day everyone is allowed to sell just about anything without a permit.

This year, many kids were smart as they devised clever ways to earn a little pocket money.

Some were peddling cupcakes, orange-decorated cookies or hotdog sandwiches to people walking on the streets.

Some sold used toys, books and old clothes or even art projects.

Younger kids performed with their musical instruments like horn, violin, keyboard and were happy to see grown-ups toss a few coins in their hats.

“Queen's Day is very fun. It’s very traditional that people wear orange clothing and people sell things at little shops and you can earn a lot of money to buy things and I like it,” said Marceline B., Dutch 6th grade student.

For Pinoy kids, Queen’s Day is also a chance to socialize and establish closer relationships with the other Dutch children.

“I find it actually fun because before when I was small I didn’t know anybody but now I see more people of my class and of my school so it’s more fun,” 7th-grader Lauren-Rome Loveranes said.