Today is Queen’s Day in The Netherlands (Koninginnedag in Dutch), the day that celebrates the birthday of Queen Juliana, the current Queen’s mother.

As this day falls on a Sunday, the day of celebrations – flea markets and street parties everywhere – took place yesterday, the 29th. As has been the case in previous years, my wife Laura and I were out and about in Amsterdam with a group of friends enjoying the sights, sounds and atmosphere.

I took some 80 or so photos, all of which you can see in this Flickr set. Lots of other people took photos and there are some really great pics of the day and of the Friday evening when “Koninginnedag” really starts. Look under the Flickr tags: koninginnedag and amsterdam.

Weather-wise, it wasn’t a terribly good day to spend five hours wandering around, enjoyable though the day was. Pretty cold with a biting north-east wind keeping the temperature down in the low teens centigrade. But that didn’t put off the hundreds of thousands of people crowding Amsterdam in the areas we were in yesterday.

The flea markets at this year’s Queen’s Day had very tight control by the city authorities and police than I’ve seen in previous years. In our neighbourhood in the Oud-Zuid district, for instance, there was a ban on stands and display areas on both sides of most roads (one side only).