After Queen’s day at the end of April, there is no time to relax and catch your breath because the Liberation day is just around the corner. It is celebrated on 5th of May all over the country to mark the end of the occupation of the Netherlands during World War II.
Of course, as a national celebration it is a day free of lecturers and classes. Most students in Groningen head to the Stadspark, where various events are held each year during the whole day. There are several stages, where artists are playing different types of music to match everyone’s taste. You have the choice to a look at famous bands on the main stage or check out the local heroes and get to know some traditional Dutch songs on some of the smaller stages.
The event brings together people from different generations, so you can see families having picnics on the grass, children running around the place and in the kids area their a lot of interesting activities, some of them suited even for a little bit grown children. This year there were people cosplaying as Stone-age villagers, except that it was fascinating for the children, I had the chance to bake my own bread on fire and appreciate the hard work of the one who invented the oven.
If you are seeing many people dressed in orange with extravagant hats, glasses and customs, it doesn`t mean that orange is the new trendy color of Lady Gaga’s fans suddenly tremendously increased. Keep calm you’ve just got the opportunity to join the crazies and largest party of the year-Queen’s day.
Queen`s day knows also as Koninginnedag, is the national holiday of the Netherlands. Celebrated on 30 April it is Queen Beatrix’s official celebration day. Although Queen Beatrix was born on 31 January, the holiday is observed on 30 April as it was the birthday of her mother and predecessor, Juliana.
Everything starts on the day before, called Queen`s night, though I said “night” there are a lot of activities even during the day just the big concert and most people, of course dressed in orange, start gathering in the city center in the evening. Traditionally, in Groningen two big concert stages are built one on Grote Markt and the other on Vrijmarkt, the musical program this year started from 14 to 2 am but the after wards party continued much longer. To cut a long story short, Groningen didn’t sleep that night.
But there is no rest the day after since the official Queen`s day begins. There is no much difference compared to the previous night but this time the party starts from noon and young and old are joined in the orange madness. Moreover, if you are not fond of big stages you can party on the streets where your favorite club’s Dj is playing music.
If you have the chance to be in the Netherlands during the national celebration, don’t hesitate but grab something orange, draw you face with the national flag, be crazy, be Dutch and join the orange crowd.
Every spring, Groningen becomes the host of an enormous flower market for a day. The flower vendors take over a large part of the city centre and thousands of tourists from other towns and neighbouring Germany make their way. Be it for buying some flowers or just for a walk, it is fun to see the market.
One thing I surely did not understand was why on my way home I became a witness of Groningen being invaded by farm animals. Not really something you see every day! Read More
We all know that Netherlands is the most bike friendly country in the world.
So, how many of you know the real “power” of bikes in Netherlands?
I just discovered some important tips and tricks regarding biking in this beautiful country. I thought it would be a pity not to share this with all of you, so here we go.
Netherlands has an amazing infrastructure. And I am not talking only about highways and airports.
Since the spring in here a bike trip sounds like a good idea for escaping the rush of the city.
On this website: http://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/fietsrouteplanner you can plan your bike trip using the magic tool provided. You can actually travel across Netherlands using just bike paths.
http://www.bikemap.net is another website that provides bike routes that you can enjoy with your friends.
Here is a short movie about the bike paths and their use in Netherlands. Read More
Sinterklaas seems to be one of the most important traditions in The Netherlands and already weeks before it takes place, you can hear students talking about it everywhere, discussing which presents to buy, and how to celebrate it. Read More
Some say: “Finally”, others are rather disappointed that the summer is now definitely and officially over. This event brought the first snow to Groningen. Suddenly, everything was white when waking up on a Friday morning. Having talked to various people, the opinions about the first snow differ widely. Some students (especially international students) who haven’t seen snow in their life were really excited and you could see happy faces all over the place. Read More