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Queen’s Day in Holland

Every year on April 30, a wave of orange falls upon the Kingdom of the Netherlands as the Dutch celebrate their national holiday, Queen’s Day.

Though the dates have fluctuated over the years, the country-wide holiday dates back to the late 19th century. The day was originally established on August 31, 1885 as Princess’s Day to honor the heiress to the throne, Princess Wilhelmina. Fittingly, the holiday took place on the Princess’s birthday. When Wilhelmina’s daughter, Juliana, began her reign as Queen, the event was renamed Koninginnedag, or Queen’s Day, and began to take place on the new monarch’s birthday, April 30. Juliana’s oldest daughter, Beatrix, has since taken the title of Queen, but the holiday is still recognized on Juliana’s birthday.  

Today, Holland’s national day is celebrated throughout the country, but perhaps, the most fervently in its capital, Amsterdam. Festivities include open air concerts, parades, and, curiously, a city-wide flea market. Queen’s Day marks the only day in which Dutch citizens are free to sell wares publically, free from tax and without a permit. Thousands take advantage of the allowance, pedaling second-hand items throughout the city of Amsterdam. In fact, the tradition is so well-practiced that even Queen Beatrix has been known to purchase an item or two throughout the course of the holiday.

Of course, the most popular way to commemorate Queen’s Day is by decking oneself out in orange, Holland’s national color. On the eve of Queen’s Day, Amsterdam’s streets and canals fill up with thousands of passionate, orange-clad participants, who remain in and about the city through the following day. Oranjegekte or “orange craze” is also exhibited in vibrant wigs, lively hats and even orange-tinted drinks as the festivities continue well into the evening. And the party certainly proves that Amsterdam is a city that is proud of its national heritage.

Celebrate a bit of Dutch tradition for yourself this year on one of our popular Bike and Barge vacations in Holland.

Croatian Cuisine

Food in Croatia, Travel Croatia, Croatian Cuisine

Here at VBT, we’re passionate about experiencing each destination we visit with all of our senses. The sound of the Adriatic rolling over the Croatian coast, the smell of cypress trees on a Tuscan hillside, the glimmer of alpenglow just after an Austrian sunset, each could be a fond and lasting memory of your travels with us. Of course, indulging in the food, the wine and the local brew can be especially delicious ways to experience local culture. And we’re very excited that our ambrosial adventure along Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands was included in The Daily Meal’s 8 Ideal Bike Tours for Food Lovers by Nicole Campoy-Leffler. Bon Appétit!

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