Tuesday, May 1


Do not be intimidated by the title of this post. It's Queen's Day!

The Dutch language loves its compound words. I always say, why put a space between words if you can get by without any? Like the word koffiepadapparat which if you break down and translate is Coffee Maker which uses the pre-packaged, pre-measured coffee pads. See? It's just much more convenient to say it in Dutch. The word you are looking at up top is one of my favorite Dutch words. The way it rolls off the tongue, after some practice, is just delightful. You see before you the word for 'Queen'-- Koningin; and the word for 'Day'-- Dag. Squish them together and you have Koninginnedag!

Don't be shy now. Say it with me.

KONE-ing IN nuh dakh-- Give that last consonant a great guttural push. Like clearing your throat of an abundance of phlegm. Yes, just like that. Now say it again.

Kone-ing in nuh dakh.


You did it. Now you are pretty much Dutch.

For the scoop on what it's all about you can refer to this
Wikepedia page or to this blog post from new reader Marloes. But for the fun of what it looks like, tune in below.

Queen's Day Sights
from The Hague, 2007 shot with my Canon EOS 400D
from Leiden, 2006 shot with the old Fuji Finepix A340
Nederlanders turn out in the National color:
Indeed, Orange is the color of the day:

Streets are filled with entertainers:

Flags fly proudly and abundantly:

There is food and fun for everyone:

Bargain hunters are sure to discover something amazing:

Brilliant young entrepreneurs are certain to make the big bucks:

His sign reads: "For 10 cents I will wiggle my ears"

Now, that's a Queen's Day party!


  1. Cool pictures. We, Belgians, don't get that "oranjegekte" at all and we often mock it. But somehow I also envy a bit how they can get together in their national pride.

  2. I want you to know that I DID practice saying "Koninginnedag" with you. :D And how cute is the sign about ear wiggling? I'd give him a whole dollar for a wiggle and nine encores!

  3. I am one of the few who really don't enjoy the maddness of this day. I rather go for a cycling tour or spend my day at leisure in my garden. Huge crowds scare me..:o) I love your impression of this day though. You really hit the mark!

  4. by the way...I think I managed to say Koninginnedag :)

  5. Looks very fun!

    It is Labor Day week here. SNOOZE.

    Why orange?

  6. Thanks for the language lesson! I said it also, but I'm not quite sure I got the guttural push quite right - I may have to work on that. This day looks like lots of fun!

  7. I really should move over to my son in Amsterdam and get on the nerves of Marieken, lol ! because orange is one of my favourite colors as you can notice on my blogs. The long words I know ! In german it's the same ! I think Dampfschiffsfahrtskapitänsmütze is one of the longest, lol !
    In flemish I don't have to clear my throat !

  8. Orange for the HOUSE OF ORANGE is the best explanation I have heard. The royal family descends from there.
    And the Dutch have some fierce national pride. I think it's pretty cool, and probaby quite understandable when you consider the size of this country. I think it calls for serious solidarity when you are such a tiny place geographically.
    Thanks all for playing along and trying to make sense of the guttural "g". It's quite a sound to get your mouth around!

  9. Even those of us a generation removed from our Dutch ancestry are pretty proud of it. I think you're right - being from a small nation instills a lot of pride.

    Great photos. Thanks for sharing - I'll have to point my sister here. She was born in Indonesia and actually lived in Holland until she was about 13 or so.

  10. how cool! You know I've been shopping in Leiden in 2002. I loved it and I lov3ed the scene then..

    Sounds like it's just a lot of fun! :)

    And you know your dutch so well.

  11. Cool pics!Thank you to share them.

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  12. I was so glad my first stay in the Netherlands included Koninginnedag. What an experience! Nothing like it here in America. And the orange! So fun to see everyone wearing it. Even more orange and flags than you see red white and blue in the USA on July 4th!