RAMBLINGS : Koninginnedag



Every year on April 30, millions of people crowd the streets of Holland to celebrate Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) in honour of Queen Beatrix. In 2011 the Dutch community of Whangarei, in northern New Zealand, staged their own version of Koninginnedag for the first time. While Whangarei's Holland Festival couldn't compete with the million revellers who pack every square metre of Amsterdam's streets and canals, up to 1000 people turned out at the Quarry Arts Centre for a day of music, Dutch dancing, costumes and traditional treats such as oliebollen (deep-fried dough balls with raisins and icing sugar) and bitterballen (a mystery filling coated in bread crumbs and deep-fried). Entry was by wearing anything orange, the Dutch national colour and a nod to the royal House of Orange. It is now set to become an annual event.

Anna Vollebregt in a traditional costume from the fishing village of Volendam

Ezra, 10, and Dana Houltham, 12, dress in Dutch colours

Liesbeth and Huub Verstegen with a plate of bitterballen

Seven-year-old Marike Ras shows her true colours

Ineke Knuvers prepares poffertjes, mini-pancakes dusted in icing sugar

A colourful Kaari Schlebach from Whangarei

Jasmin Fisher-Johnson, 11, made gingerbread cookies to sell at the children's flea market

Whangarei friends Claire Cochrane, 6, and Grace Binney, 5, with their finds from the children's market

Ten-year-old Romane Gardes, of Whangarei, sells her unwanted toys at the vrijmarkt

A festival-goer braves the cold in a pair of Dutch-themed boxer shorts

Whangarei district councillor Jeroen Jongejans is roped in to a dancing demonstration

Finger-lickin' good: Seven-year-old Marike Ras enjoys every last bit of a Dutch treat

Bram van Gaalen, 13, samples an oliebol - a treat made of deep-fried dough, raisins and icing sugar, usually eaten on New Year's Eve

Ellis van Leuven and Dutch-born Whangarei district councillor Jeroen Jongejans

The Auckland Dutch Dancers in action

Nine-year-old Marte van Gaalen tries the Kop van Jut, a traditional test of strength and accuracy

Revellers celebrate Koninginnedag

Northland's Dutch community dusted off their clogs

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Copyright Peter de Graaf 2011 : Ramblings by Peter de Graaf : Last updated May 2011