Holiday Focus: Queen’s Day in the Netherlands
Celebrated on April 30 is the national holiday of the Netherlands: Queen’s Day (also known as the Queen Mother’s Birthday). The holiday honors Queen Beatrix, the nation’s reigning monarch since April 30 1980, when her mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated. That day was also Queen Juliana’s 71st birthday, and beginning that year, April 30 was set aside as a national holiday to honor her. Queen Juliana died in 2004 but the national holiday continues as a tribute to Queen Beatrix.
To celebrate, the Dutch attend carnivals and street festivals, which begin the night before April 30 and continue until late the next day. Many people dress in patriotic colors: orange (which represents the House of Orange, the Dutch dynasty) or the colors of the flag (red, white, and blue). It is also common for families to gather unwanted items from their homes and hold sidewalk rummage sales.
World Holidays Featured This Month
Worldwide – Easter (this year) April 4
Easter is a movable holiday whose day of observation has for centuries been painstakingly calculated. This is because its day of observance is determined initially by the lunar calendar, like PASSOVER, but then must be put into terms of the solar calendar. The Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. set the formula for calculating the date of Easter still in use today. After many centuries of controversy among Christians, Western Christendom settled on the use of the Gregorian calendar (Eastern Christians use the Julian calendar to determine Easter), decreeing that Easter shall be celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon on or following the VERNAL EQUINOX. If the full moon is on a Sunday, Easter is held the next Sunday. In the East, Easter can occur between April 4 and May 8, but it must come after Passover has ended.
Rwanda – Genocide Memorial Day – April 7
Commemorates the start of the 1994 genocide.
Brazil – Tiradentes Day – April 21
Celebrates the death of Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (known as Tiradentes), a nationalist who died in the struggle for independence.
Italy – Liberation Day – April 25
Commemorates Italy’s liberation in World War II.
Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, & Tonga – Anzac Day – April 25
Honors the armed forces and war dead.
Vietnam – Liberation of Saigon – April 30
Commemorates the 1975 defeat of South Vietnam.
To learn more about these holidays or other holidays in April try these online resources: