Tuesday, April 18, 2017



   Queen's Day in Amsterdam is a unique night and day carnival like event on the 30th of April each year and during the night before...so called Queen's Night.  What is special about the Queen's Day?  How about  having elements of a huge party across the whole city, it is combined with the market in the streets in the whole entire city.
   Queen's Day in Amsterdam attracts 700,000 visitors, which makes the city crowded beyond any acceptable norm.  Despite overcrowding, the atmosphere on Queen's Day is traditionally relax and joyful.  The usually mild weather makes the Queen's Day the day to be in Amsterdam. 


The Tradition of Queen's Day

   Queen's Day is celebrated in the whole country of the Netherlands for more than 50 years.  Amsterdam celebrations are the most raucous.  Over the years, the popularity of the event grows bigger and bigger, as crowds of people from all over Europe come to attend.


Free Market (Vrijmarkt)

   The Dutch love to trade, they have it in their blood.  Queen's Day is an occasion to trade all things that are unnecessary at home.  They come to trade with neighbors and visitors in town.  More a social occasion that a real commercial opportunity, the free market is a unique family event with children actively participating also, it's not just an event for adults.  Prices are symbolic and the most important thing isn't the trading but enjoying the day and having fun.

Transportation During Queen's Day

   As a large part of the Amsterdam center is filled with such a large crowd, no transportation is possible in the city itself, you will have to walk to wherever that you want to go.  No cars are allowed on Queen's Day in the Amsterdam center.  All public transportation, including trains are on a special schedule for this day and night.


Queen's Night (Koninginnenacht)

   The celebrating of Queen's Day begins on the evening of the day before, usually at 7 p.m., and goes on until the early hours of Queen's Day.  It is called Queen's Night, when all clubs across the Netherlands organize special festivities.  Especially for the younger adult crowds, this is the night to be in Amsterdam.  Amsterdam is bustling all through the night, as many young adults move across the city hopping from one party to the next, while others prepare for the market, the following day.
   The quarter of Jordan is one of  the most crowded places to be on Queen's Day.  Not only with traders, food concessions and beer stands, but also with large groups of people singing traditional Dutch songs.  These are simple, rhythmic songs, mostly describing the beauty of Amsterdam.  While you might not be able to follow the words, the whole atmosphere is always unique, friendly, and relaxed.

Some Dutch Pastries

   There are rock concerts that usually begin about 11 a.m. and go on until late in the afternoon attracting thousands of people.
   All clubs in Amsterdam organize special parties on this day.  In many parts of the city, you can hear the music blaring out of speakers around many corners of the city.  Many of these turn into improvised parties.  There are boats full of dancing people circulating up and down the canals in Amsterdam.

The Queen of Holland

Accommodations for Queen's Day

   If you plan to visit Amsterdam during the next Queen's Day, make your hotel reservations many months in advance.  There is absolutely no chance to find a good hotel or even a hostel at the last minute, any private apartment or bed and breakfast's are usually taken years in advance.


Tips if you decide to go for Queen's Day

  • As you are going to spend most of your day around big crowds, leave your valuables in your hotel.
  • You're going to be walking alot, so comfortable shoe are an essential.
  • Take a lot of change.  You may want to buy something in the market, plus you may want to buy food or beverages while you are out during the day.
  • All the main grocery stores are open on Queen's Day.  You may get food and drink at a better price than at a booth.
  • While you may drink alcohol in the streets on Queen's Day, it is not allowed to carry more than one drink at a time.
  • Consider leaving your camera at the hotel.  Take part in the event, there are many offering to take pictures, which you can always download later from the web.


Image result for The Feria de Abril de Sevilla 2017

   The Feria de Abril de Sevilla, literally Seville April Fair, is held in the Andalusian capital of Seville, Spain.  the fair generally begins two weeks after the Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week.
   The fair officially begins at midnight on Monday, and runs for six days, ending on the following Sunday.  During past fairs, however, many activities have begun on the Saturday prior to the official opening.  Each day the fiesta begins with the parade of carriages and riders, at midday, carrying Seville's leading citizens which make their way to the bullring, La Real Maestranza, where the bullfighters and breeder meet.

  For the duration of the fair, the fairgrounds and a vast area on the far bank of the Guadalquivir River are totally covered in rows of casetas (individual decorated marquee tents which are temporarily built on the fairground).  Some of these csetas belong to the prominent families of Seville, some to groups of friends, clubs, trade associations, or political parties.  From around nine at night until six or seven the following morning, at first in the streets and later only within each caseta, you will find crowds partying and dancing "Sevillanas", drinking Jerez sherry, or manzanilla wine, and eating tapas.




   The Fair dates back to 1847 when it was originally organized as a livestock fair by two coucillors, Jose' Maria Ybarra and Narciso BonaplataQueen Isabel II agreed to the proposal, and on April 18th,  1847, the first fair was held at the Prado de San Sebastian, on the outskirts of the city.
   It took only one year before an air of festivity began to transform the fair, due mainly to the emergence of the first three casetas, belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier, the Town Hall , and the Casino of Seville.  During the 1920's, the fair reached its peak and became the spectacle that it is today.



   La Feria of Abril is accompanied by men and women dressed up in their finery, ideally the traditinal "traje corto" (short jacket, tight trousers and boots) for men and the "faralaes" or "trajes de flamenca" (flamenco style dress) for women.  The men traditionally wear hats called "cordobes".


Image result for The Feria Nacional de San Marcos 2017

  The Feria Nacional de San Marcos (San Marcos Fair) is a national fair held in the Mexican state of Agualscalientes every year for three (sometimes four) weeks.  Most of the events related to the fair, however, occur in the city of Aguascalientes, the state capital.  The exact date of the fair varies every uear but is set around April 25th, the Feast Day of San Marcos.

Beauty Queens

   Initially the fair was tied to the vendimia (harvesting of grapes) since wine production used to be an important activity in Aguascalientes.  Nowadays, it is an important tourist attraction that is heavily associated with bullgighting and cock fighting.  It is estimated that seven million people visit the fair every year and as a consequence, hotels are usually filled to capacity, however some locals rent out their houses to visitors and go on vacation during this time.



   The San Marcos National Fair is organized by an independent foundation that oversees the governance of what happens at the fair, but is supported by the state and city governments of Aguascalientes.
   The fair is host to a large range of activities, of which bull and cock fighting are the most popular.  Usually a concert is given by a prominent Mexican singer after a series of cockfights; this event tends to draw more attention than the fights themselves.

San Marcos Plaza Bullring


   Located in the main fair venue are an assortment of sponsored stands and mechanical games, as well as stages where various concerts and theater plays are performed.  the livestock fair and the charreadas still remain an important part of the celebration.  Parties where traditional Mesican music is played (tamboras) are also celebrated on the streets of Aguascalientes.  Finally, a casino is licensed in downtown Aguascalientes just for the occasion.
   Concerts, art exhibits and other cultural events complement the fair in many locations around the state.  The award ceremony of the National Award for Youth Art occurs in Aguascalientes during this time as well.



   The fair was celebrated for the first time around harvest time from November 5th to November 20th, 1828, as a showcase of the state's produce and livestock.  During that time it was in direct competition with the fair of Acapulco, Jalapa and San Juan de los Lagos.


   The celebrations centered in the Parian (a word borrowed from the Filipino language), a market in the city of Aguascalientes, until 1848.  In 1842, the outside balustrade of San Marcos Park was built on a plot of land donated by the Catholic Church.  the balustrade is of neoclassical style and is still preserved to this day.  Once San Marcos Park was completed the date of celebration was changed to April to coincide with the festivities to honor the patron saint, San Marcos.

   Construction of the San Marcos Plaza bullring started in 1896 and was completed in only 48 days.  From that date bullfighting was included in the festivities.  It was not until 1992 that the much larger Monumental Plaza de San Marco was built, with seating capacity of 15,000 people.
   Since 1924, the winner of the beauty pageant has been crowned "Queen of the Fair".  In 2006, after some electoral controversy, three queens were appointed.

    In 1958 the fair was elevated to the rank of "National" by President Adolfo Lopez Mateos.   On April 26th, 2009, the fair was canceled due to an epidemic flu virus that was roaming in Mexico.  This is the first time in 181 years that the fair was canceled.