Queens day in Amsterdam; Queens and princesses.
The national day Queens day (koninginnendag) is a day where Ducth celebrate the birthday of the previous queen of the Netherlands. The current queen continued this tradition with her birthday party on 30 April. The day is celebrated with street parties, free markets and festivities for young and old. In Amsterdam queensday underwent a metamorphosis. During the eighties of the previous century it turned more and more into an all night party. Free markets started at the begin of evening at 29 April. Everybody could sell their left over stuff but also food and drinks. Deep at night girls could still wander alone through town with a big pink cotton candy stick in one hand and a starry flashlight in another. Nobody would give it a thought.
With all pre evening partying, the city centre at queensday itself looked more and more to look like a swamp next morning; Left over goods of last night flee market mixed with body fluids of too much party fun.
The sad view of messed up city centre made city government decide to create queensday rules. Each year these rules in Amsterdam for this national day become more strict.
One thing however remains and is still untouched. The undercurrent of true women and gay liberation day. Queens and princesses can dress up as provoking as they like, or dress down for garden work while going on stage. There is however an unwritten etiquette, if we go beyond our normal dress code it should have at least 1 orange attribute. Whatever else it is possible, flirting behaviour by women or gay men included. Just cheers, wink and walk on to dance with another total stranger. That's queensday.