Where would you find a Labrador(拉布拉多猎狗)begging for money while sitting patiently on the corner of a crowded street with a notice tied around his neck reading 'nearly blind dog, please give'? Or multi-millionaire and former CEO of Europe's largest broadcasting production company squatting on an old rug selling discarded children's toys and general household bits and pieces for no more then a couple of guilders(荷兰盾)? Welcome to Queen‘s Day April 30th.

  The formula for celebrating Queen’s day is unique to the Dutch. You rummage(到处翻寻)through your house gathering all the artifacts you want to get rid of, haul them into the city or local village, find a suitable place where you can display them to passersby, and sell it for as much or as little possible. But there is more to Queen‘s day than selling your past, creativity can play an important roll in the pursuit of profit.

  Queen's day was first celebrated on 30 April 51 years ago. It exists in its present festive form only since 1980, when the current Queen, Beatrix, chose her mother's birthday as the day for her inauguration(就职典礼). She also declared that in future, 30 April would stay Queen's Day, as a mark of honour to her mother. Beatrix herself was born on 31 January, when it is too cold for open-air festivities.

  Mind Games

  For instance, you could have your palm read or your fortune told for 5 guilders. Sounds simple, but modern deception can make it more fun. While your friend is in the tent getting his/her fortune told, you are being quizzed by an assistant about the others personal life - which is all fed into a hidden microphone! The person doing the fortune telling is listening to every word you're saying and relating that to the person sitting across from them. Astonishment, amazement and utter bewilderment can only ensue - and the laughter when the cat is out of the bag.

  Another money spinner to be found during Queen's Day is three or four oranges in a bucket of water. You place a coin on the orange, if it stays there for more then four seconds you get double the money back. Be warned, the orange rarely loses!

  Music in the Air

  More human talents can also be displayed, for instance in the couple of square miles covering the 'Jordaan' in Amsterdam you can easily find as many as nine or ten bands playing to beer drinking crowds in the narrow streets, thereby slowing down your exploration of Queen's Day considerably.

  Adults do not only have the upper hand(优势)in entertainment on this day. The Vondel park, a large city park in the centre of Amsterdam is only open to children looking to make an extra guilder. The music teachers tyranny finally reaps its fruit when children finally get the chance to play to a public other than their family or friends. Violin's, Cello's and a large percentage of typical wooden flutes drown out(淹没)the usual sounds of birds singing in the trees, or rather they have fled the sound of horsehair bows and catgut strings crying for mercy.

  The Day After

  The aftermath of Queen’s Day is one of disbelief and utter shock for tourists arriving in any of the major cities. Tons of rubbish such as cloths, clapped out hi-fi equipment, furniture, bottles, toys, beer cans, plastic cups litter the streets, all the streets. One would think a war had been fought. A battleground would look more organised, although the only wounded are those nursing a hangover, or disappointing takings from a hard days work.



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