Queen's Day ("Koninginnedag" in Dutch) is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which includes Curacao, on which we celebrate the birthday of our Queen. Queen Beatrix's birthday is actually on January 31 but the holiday's date remained April 30 -the birthday of the Queen's mother - because many of the activities take place outside and January 31 is too cold for that in Holland.
The holiday is famous particularly for the "Vrijmarkt" ('free market'). On this day anybody is allowed to sell their goods outside in specific areas without needing a permit. As a result many people and children will flock to the Wilhelmina Square in Punda and the Nieuwstraat in Pietermaai Smal to lay out a blanket or set up a table and display the things they want to sell, complemented with some professionals with more elaborate stands.De Vrijmarkt also includes all kinds of off-beat games, activities and performances to liven up the event.
The color of the royal family is orange and on Queen's Day the people tend to go slightly mad with this color. They will dress up the streets in orange, wear orange clothes, eat orange pastries and drink oranjebitter (an old-fashioned orange liqueur). This is called "Oranjegekte" ('orange madness') and is generally a hilarious sight to watch.
This is the evening before Queen's Day. Where Queen's Day is mostly a family event, Queen's Night is party time. Since the next day is an official holiday and people are gearing up for orange madness they will party well into the night the night before.
In Curacao you usually find several larger parties on Queen's Night and many smaller ones. Check our event calendar for this year's parties.
On April 30 2013 Prince Willem-Alexander will be crowned King and since his birthday is on April 27 the holiday will be renamed to King's Day and moved to April 27 in 2014. This means that Queen's Day 2013 will be the last Queen's Day for (hopefully) a long time to come.