Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Weekend recap: Queen's Day

So, as I mentioned (more than) a few times last week, this past weekend was a holiday weekend. Sunday night, the night before Koninginnedag (Queen's Day), is referred to as Queen's Night. This is basically the biggest celebration in The Netherlands.


Rolan and I headed out Queen's Night with his cousins and their dates in tow. We hung out for a while on the Domplein in Utrecht, where a radio station was DJing live right there in front of a centuries-old church and a huge crowd. There were dozens of places like this throughout the city, where someone had just plopped a stage and hundreds of people gathered to drink and dance.

aanschaf oliebollen
Originally uploaded by Flickr user
Gerard Stolk (vers l'Ascension)
I also had my first chance to sit by the gracht and enjoy a glass of wine. And I had my first oliebollen, a doughnut-like treat that comes as a ball covered in powdered sugar.

We had to end the night a little earlier than most people did, around midnight, so that we could get up early on Sunday to see the Queen of Holland in Rhenen. Koninginnedag is an opportunity for the Queen to honor citizens for their service to the Netherlands and she did so this year by visiting the city of Rhenen and Veenendaal. We got a few chances to see her and the royal family pass by as they made their walking tour through the city, shaking hands with people and interacting with the random activities the citizens had set up along the way.

I even managed to snap this picture on the right of the queen as she passed by us pretty close:

She's the one in the big purple hat holding flowers. *wink*

All in all, it was a really wonderful weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect, there was a feeling of celebration and happiness in the air and all of Holland was in a joyful mood.

We don't get too many holiday weekends for celebrating here in The Netherlands, so when they do get one -- they go all out.

P.S. Did you see that Joanna Goddard from A Cup of Jo came to Amsterdam this past weekend? She and her husband took a last-minute trip here and I can't wait to see what she has to say about her experience. She already posted about the spectacle that is biking in Amsterdam. Check it out!

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