Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Brightest Holiday Of the Netherlands

Remember the post about Jersey Battle of Flowers? Today we continue this beautiful and fragrant topic. 
All of you probably know or at least heard that the 30th of April is the day when the Netherlands celebrates its Queen's Birthday. It is celebrated in a big way: with carnivals, sales, dancing and singing. No alcohol or street fights. That's probably why this event attracts so many tourists from all over the world and gives them a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the holiday and feel as a part of something huge and important.
But if you don't like to be in a crowd much and are more interested in the history and traditions of this holiday than in its celebration, then you are highly recommended to visit one of the flowers festivals held in many small villages all over the country during the week before the holiday.

Flowers processions in Dutch villages always consisted of carts decorated with flowers grown in the local area. But as the competition between the villages became fiercer year by year, carts were soon replaced by huge platforms intended to hold all the designer's ideas he thinks over during the whole year.

During the last dozens of years, all the compositions on the platform have been made of flowers only: tulips, narcissi, roses... The more flowers you used, the better evaluation you got. Now the principle remained the same. Sometimes compositions are supplemented by one or several alive characters.

For example, this composition called "Japanese tekenkunst" is"decorated" with a pretty Dutch Japanese. It was built by the members of the local culture club of Japan supported by the Japanese embassy.

And this platform is sponsored by IKEA. Its style is easily recognized, isn't it? Just for information, the creature on the chair is a girl with plaits having put her head on her hands which rest against the knees.

This platform called "Pyramids" was created by an 80-year-old lady-farmer who refused to be photographed. 

Mercedes pulling a huge platform with a Yellow Dragon is also beautifully decorated with flowers.

Every platform has a yellow sign on which a special number is written. If you like the platform you can message to vote for it. And as the contest is international, every flower composition competes not only with its column neighbors but with the platforms from other villages as well.

And here is the reason of the world's financial crisis - a huge pig money-box with yellow euros on its head. Judging by its size, all the money lost in banks over the last two years could be easily hidden inside this pig.

Some Ford cars...

By the way, Ford company had the longest chain of platforms.

The engine that was ahead of the column.

The pangolin must be familiar to everybody who knows at least something about Barcelona.

Delfts china. During the whole week the columns go about neighboring villages arousing admiration and envy, surprise and joy. This is the best chance to see all the luxury of the huge parade devoted to the Queen's Birthday not being clutched in a crowd, losing your buttons or treading on somebody's feet. In the end of the week all the small processions from various villages gather in Amsterdam and some other big cities. So don't wait for the 30th of April, come to the Netherlands a week earlier and see the beautiful splinters of a great holiday.
via estran ic

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