Queen's Day  

Like Saint Patty’s Day in Orange
Since 1885, residents of the Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba have been dressing up in orange, dying fountains a shade lighter than red, decorating their pets like jars of tang with ears, and enjoying citrus-colored beer and food. This orange craze, known as oranjegekte in Dutch, is a giant birthday party for the queen. The color choice refers to the royal family, known as the House of Orange.

Not only does the queen get a rather large city layered in orange frosting—in the form of nearly a million orange-toting patrons and visitors—but Koninginnedag, or Queens Day, may very well be the world’s biggest yard sale.

In many cities and neighborhoods, such as Jordaan, people enjoy a day socializing with complete strangers, ingesting orange brews, and browsing other peoples’ castoffs in search of cheap, new trinkets.

This state sponsored flea market exploded after the governing body announced the day tax-free for everything sold and allowed neighborhoods to be blocked off from automobiles. Despite the ban of four-wheeled conveyance, some waterways and roads still suffer gridlock in peak hours, due to the heavy foot traffic of revelers.

Originally celebrated on the Queen’s birthday, the holiday stayed put on April 30th, after Queen Beatrix succeeded her mother. She asked to keep it in April to honor her mother. It probably didn’t hurt that April weather is considerably more accommodating than her January birth date.

Visitors planning to enjoy the open-air concerts, boat parties, and browse the wares should book at least six months ahead; it’s not easy to find rooms for 500 to 800 thousand overnight guests in the Queen’s tiny nation.
Queen's Day
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Rating 87.10 
Rank [category] 22 
Rank [overall] 220 
"Not sure if it's the world's largest street party, but it sure felt like it. "

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