Although the present Queen, Beatrix, turned 57 in January, the celebration of the royal birthday is held on the anniversary of the birth of the Queen mother, Princess Juliana. The event is a national holiday. Whether one is a royal enthusiast or not, the chance for a day off is reason enough to celebrate. Many people wear orange coloured clothing because the Dutch royal family belongs to the House of Orange, or Oranje. The Queen usually visits a town and where she walks about to meet the people, and is welcomed by local dignitaries. This event is broadcast on television.
Queen's Day is also the one day in the year when second hand goods are allowed to be sold on the street without first requesting a permit. If you want to buy, or have something to sell, Queen's Day is your chance to set up shop. A free market will be held in the centre of Wageningen on the morning of April 30th. Amsterdam and Utrecht are known for their Queen's Day street markets. It is a marvellous opportunity to buy things cheaply, but going to look at the street markets and the celebrations is worthwhile in itself.
If you decide to head for Amsterdam or Utrecht, wear comfortable shoes, keep an eye on your wallet and be prepared for lots of walking, huge crowds and possible train delays.