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In the Netherlands April the 30th is Koninginnedag (Queens Birthday). On Princess Juliana the Queen Mother's birthday a nationwide public holiday is declared in honour of Queen Beatrix. In 1996 Princess Juliana was 87.

All shopping restrictions are lifted throughout the country and the centres of towns and cities turn into markets. In Amsterdam 500,000 people flood into the city and a fun-fair is erected in the central Dam square. The market in Vondel park is reserved for children so it becomes a giant toy swap shop.

Many thanks to Willy Konijnenberg for correcting me on the origins of this festival.

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