If I weren’t in Maui or connecting flights in Chicago, I would definitely rather be in Amsterdam right now.
Only by stumbling upon a friend’s post on Facebook did I learn that the Dutch Queen is abdicating her throne for her son on 30th April 2013. What a historic event it is!
Every year, on 30th April, every one in the Netherlands comes out to play. It’s not the present queen’s birthday but that of her mother’s that she chose to declare a public holiday for the nation. There are street parties from morning till night. You can either choose to host your own party, sell your wares outside your house, on your street, or visit other parties. The next day is probably the smelliest and dirtiest day in the country, for the streets reek of stale beer and urine.
My first encounter of the Queen’s Birthday Party was in 1995 when I decided to visit the Keukenhof, by way of a conference in Rotterdam. My Dutch friend told me about this public holiday and gave me a glimpse.
From that day on, I was hooked. Every 30th April in the Netherlands was a day to enjoy with friends.
Here’s a toast to the Queen and the new King —- and all my friends in the Netherlands.