May 1, 2010

Queen’s Day 2010: friendly and fun

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gaming,General,Literature,Photography by Orangemaster @ 11:07 am

Queen’s Day in Amsterdam’s West and Old South districts was not too crowded and full of excellent finds on the outdoor market. I thought people were a tad friendlier than usually, it could be this crisis is bringing us a bit closer, who knows. It was also nice to run into friends as well, some selling, some buying and some joining us for food and drinks.

Although it was a bit rainy during the day and cold (10 degrees when the day before was 20), the sun finally popped out and 24oranges went out to enjoy the day and prepare our annual Queen’s Day photo report. First, the lady at the bakery pointed out that the Dutch eclair-like cakes as well as her ‘tompouces’ here above were made by hand.


The city’s major park, Vondelpark, is traditionally overrun by children selling and buying as well as playing music for coins and doing tricks and the likes. And after years of watching hordes wear those inflatable crowns, I finally walked by the people on the street of the lottery company who hands these things out and scored me one too.


Although quickly pointed out as a traditional Dutch game, sjoelbak is apparently of British origin, but the Dutch have their own take on it.


There were people selling all kinds of stuff: the usual houselhold knickknacks, darkroom equipment, clothes, records, books, you name it. And that’s still not the best part. At the end of the day, people place a lot of unsold items on the kerb for rubbish and then it’s free digging time, which can even be better than the stuff you bought during the day.

We saved some LPs and books from destruction this year and we noticed that so much was properly cleaned up, due to the city’s street cleaners’ strike. Maybe that has do to the classier neighbourhoods we were in as well.

In this last picture of women checking out handbags, you can play spot the 24oranges blogger.

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April 30, 2010

Trains in Amsterdam stopped because of people walking on the tracks

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 9:03 pm

Rail traffic around Amsterdam was halted this afternoon because party-goers were walking on the tracks, presumably because authorities decided to vacate Amsterdam Sloterdijk station for unclear reasons. Today is the Netherlands’ national holiday, Queen’s Day.

More Queen’s Day reporting tomorrow.

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October 28, 2009

Man found not guilty after blacking out hospital

Filed under: Gaming,General,Health by Branko Collin @ 8:58 am

Jan H. thought he was playing the Silent Hill video game when he shut down the electricity at the Sophia hospital in Zwolle last Queen’s Day.

Last Tuesday a court found him not guilty, simply because he had no idea of the true consequences of his deeds. H. has volunteered to undergo treatment.

Telegraaf reports that the 35-year-old was suffering a psychosis when he stepped into the hospital’s basement. By pulling levers and switches, he thought he could win a tooth brush. The power was down for 45 minutes during which patients in the intensive care unit had to be respirated manually and lifts got stuck. No patients suffered any lasting consequences, according to RTV Oost.

Silent Hill is a survival horror game, a sub-genre of the action adventure.

Update 30-10: added a link to the verdict.

(Photo of the old building of the Sophia hospital (1884) by Wikimedia user Arminiuzz, some rights reserved)

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April 30, 2009

Queen’s Day 2009

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 1:30 pm

Being a bit of pack rat, the Queen’s Day nation-wide flea market has always had a bit of a dangerous attraction for me. Oh no, not more stuff to hide away in the house! This year I decided to turn things around and get rid of some of my mathoms through the vrijmarkt.

I am back early, here to tell you that people don’t know quality if it’s right under their noses! In the space of four hours I sold all of two ping-pong balls, my high school Dutch grammar text books, a small comic book, a cigar case, a medical dictionary that Orangemaster gave me to sell, and another small comic book that the purchaser came back two minutes later to return because at her young age she did not speak German yet.

Conclusion: henceforth I will stick to buying. It’s what I am good at.

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April 4, 2009

Too many people on vacation threaten Queen’s Day

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 12:23 pm

Since many families will be going away for two weeks (!) in May as school is out, some towns will not have enough volunteers to help out with all those Queen’s Day activities. Queen’s Day falls on Thursday, 30 April and many people will take Friday, 1 May off, which is not a holiday (Labour Day) in the Netherlands. Then they’re off to foreign countries with their caravans for two blissful weeks. Two weeks!

Although more people will stay home because of the recession, newspaper AD says many towns like Aerdenhout and Haarlem cancelled some Queen’s Day activities and sports events because they can’t find enough volunteers. Boo hoo hoo: two predominantly white, rich cities can’t find volunteers because the really rich folks will be gone. I will be working very hard both days, find out more here under ‘Upcoming’). Co-blogger Branko will be selling stuff on the country-wide flea market instead of buying this year and I promised to keep the coffee coming before working until 5 am the same evening.

The Royal Dutch Automobile Association (ANWB) estimated that about 450,000 people will be taking off. Do they all come from upscale Aerdenhout and Haarlem, and Rheden near Arhem, which I am assuming is white and loaded as well?

For those who don’t know: Good Friday (10 April) and Easter Monday (13 April) are days off, then comes Ascension (Thursday, 21 april – people often take Friday off too), and if that wasn’t enough for you, there’s Whit Monday (1 June).

And next year, Liberation Day (5 May) will also be a day off.

Boo hoo hoo.

(Link:, Photo: Amsterdam Queen’s Day 1996)

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April 30, 2008

Queen’s Day 2008

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 7:08 pm

Queen’s Day 2008: if you weren’t dressed for the occasion, there were vendors more than willing to help you remedy that. After the nation-wide flea market we went dumpster diving, and as will happen we found some of our biggest treasures then.

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April 26, 2008

Country shuts down for the first half of May

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 9:00 am

Due to the unusually early first moon of spring, all the major Christian holidays are early this year, almost colliding with the traditional Dutch holidays. Starting next week: April 30, Queen’s Day—May 1, Ascension Day—May 5, Liberation Day—May 12, Pentacost. This year, the schools close down for the first two weeks of May, and families seem to take the opportunity to go on holidays. According to De Telegraaf (Dutch), 3.5 million Dutch people will go away for the next two weeks, up 1.5 million from last year. AD quotes (Dutch) Bas Hoogland, CEO of Landal Greenparks, as saying: “It’s as if the entire country closes down for the first two weeks of May. There is a huge sense of ‘holiday urgency.’ Many parents don’t feel like spending two weeks at home with the kids.”

The clash of holidays has also brought forward the Lintjesregen (rain of ribbons), the mass-awarding of royal decorations which takes place every year on Queen’s Day, the Dutch national holiday. Queen’s Day was traditionally held on the Queen’s birthday, but that tradition changed when Queen Beatrix ascended the throne in the 1980s. Beatrix’s birthday is in January, whereas her mother was born on the much warmer April 30, so it was decided that the latter day would be maintained.

Radio DJ Coen Swijnenberg life-long’s wish was to cross-dress as Queen Beatrix, and Veronica Magazine helped him make that wish come true this week (photo). Cross-dressing is not the norm for Queen’s Day, but people will don orange for the occasion.

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April 30, 2007

Queen’s day

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:12 pm


Queen’s day.


Happy Queen’s Day!

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:13 am
Party oranges

On the orangiest holiday of the year, we at 24oranges are taking the day off. Back tomorrow!


April 24, 2007

Dutch Queen’s Day in London

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:46 am

A house party will be given by the Dutch Tourism Board in London on the shore of the Thames in London for some 12,000 visitors on Saturday, 29 April. The Holland House Event will last the entire day and is suitable for young and old. Dutch drinks and finger food will be served and there will be performances by Dutch bands. For the younger visitors, there will be a meet and greet with Nijntje (known as Miffy in English).

Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) is officially celebrated on April 30 and marks the birthday of the late Queen Juliana.

On another note, more and more tourists are getting wind of this relatively low key holiday because of the freemarkets in every city and town. This photo of Amsterdam’s Damrak was taken by Orangemaster in 1996 when (see left) the guilder was still in use.


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