April 30, 2008

Today: Dutch National Day

The Queen in MakkumOn the photo queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, shaking hands with a primordeal Batavi clansman on an official visit to the town of Makkum.

You might wonder what this caption is all about. Well, today the Netherlands celebrates its national day, Queen’s Day, in which the queen naturally takes a kind of big role. The date, 30 april, was the birthday of an earlier queen, and has since been maintained.

Last weekend on the banks of the River Thames right under the London Eye, in surprise I stumbled across a miniature version of what the Netherlands must now be doing on a mass scale: people dressed in the national colour, orange, a folk band performing on wooden clogs, Heineken beer on the tap, Dutch fries, even a flower stall. And of course, a lot of Dutch people.

It’s really a grand feast that I recommend you go and see for yourself some time. Each year again when the day comes, the Warwickshire that I have around me seems just so colourless. Next year, I’ll make sure to be there too: in the Land of Orange.

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