Friday, April 30, 2010
Today is Koninginnedag, or "Queen's Day" in the Netherlands, which is often referred to as "Holland", when the country celebrates the birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands.
The tradition started on August 31, 1885 on the birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, who later became Queen Wilhelmina. Since 1949, after Queen Juiliana took the throne, Queen's Day is celebrated on her birthday of April 30th. When the current Queen, Queen Beatrix, succeeded her mother Queen Juliana on April 30th, she decided to keep the holiday on April 30th as a tribute to her mother, despite Queen Beatrix's birthday being on January 31st, which comes at a time of year that is far less suited weather-wise for a national holiday which includes many outdoor events.
One of the main outdoor events which Queen's Day is known for it the tradition of "freemarket", where everyone is allowed to sell items on the streets without having to pay taxes on their sales, with the sales in Amsterdam attracting the most visitors. While some sale areas are becoming more commercialized, others are more of a social event and the one in Vondelpark is officially reserved for children.
Other activities are games for children and outdoor concerts as many people dress in the color orange, the color of William I, Prince of Orange, the founder of the Dutch royal family, The House of Orange. Orange is also the color worn by Dutch national sports teams, such as it's successful soccer team despite the colors of it's flag being red, white and blue. Not only do people dress in orange, but there are also orange costumes, drinks and food. The night before Queen's Day is also celebrated in some larger cities, such as Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hauge, and called Queen's Night, which began as a successful response to rowdyism in the 1990's.
Rather than continue the old tradition of citizens visiting the Queen at Soestdijk Palace, Queen Beatrix instead picks two or three places to visit each year to meet citizens, view local dances and demonstrations of traditional crafts.
The Netherlands National Team first played in 1935 and is currently ranked 25th in the world, competing at the IIHF World Championship Division I level, the second highest level of international hockey. Their highest ranking came in 2004, when they were ranked 23rd.
They competed in the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, posting a record of 1-3-1 thanks to a win over Poland and a tie with Japan.
Ron Berteling holds the record for the most games played for the national team with 213 while Jack de Heer has scored the most points with 210. Berteling has been awarded the Frans Henrichs Trophy as the MVP of the Dutch League, while de Heer has a trophy named for him which is given to the leading scorer of the Dutch Super Liga.
The Netherlands currently has 1,800 registered senior players and 1,100 junior players and 21 indoor rinks and they just recently hosted the Division I Group A World Championships in Tilburg where the home squad finished fourth out of six with a win over Lithuania, an overtime win over Serbia and a trio of losses to Japan, Ukraine and Austria remain in Division I for next year.
Today's featured jersey is a 2008 Netherlands National Team Ivy van den Huevel jersey as worn in the 2008 IIHF Division I Group A World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria as well as the IIHF Group C Pre-Olympic Qualification Tournament in Narva, Estonia in November 2008.
The main crest, striping, name, numbers and even the IIHF logo on the back are all dye-sublimated, with the name on a nameplate which was then sewn on, while the sponsorship patch on the back is printed on a patch which was then sewn onto the jersey. The pair of sponsorship patches on the arms are embroidered patches which were then sewn on.
This very attractive jersey in the traditional Dutch color of orange features a striking main logo and some basic, yet effective striping and contrasting blue accent colors for an overall excellent look.
First up in the video section today, a taste of Queen's Day in the Netherlands.
Here is classic footage of the Netherlands versus Canada in the 1980 Olympics. The Netherlands are not wearing their expected orange color, but white jerseys with blue trim.
More classic footage, including a brief interviews with record holding national team players Ron Berteling and Jack de Heer from 1983, as the Netherlands takes on Hungary.
From the recent Division 1 Group A World Championships in Tilburg, the Dutch take on Japan.