<ul><li>The Dutch culture is one of the few cultures with many contradictions. The Dutch want to be modern and progressive, but also wish to preserve their standards and values. </li></ul>
Queen's Day <ul><li>On April 30th, the Dutch celebrate Koninginnedag ("Queen's Day"), a national holiday to commemorate the birthday of the country's (former) Queen. It is by far the most widely celebrated holiday in the Netherlands. Amsterdam is packed to the gills on April 30th, welcoming up to two million party-going visitors. </li></ul>
Dutch games On that day you will find festivities all over the country. Many towns and villages have traditional feasts with lots of old fashioned games, like 3 leg races, 'koek happen', and more things like that.
Music festivals And in the afternoon and evening, and sometimes the evening before, there are big musical festivals. Bands playing on stages on the village square or one of the many town squares, with beer stalls doing good business. And many people will dress up in orange, the national colour.
Fallen in war day 4th May is the remembrance of all people fallen in war, (used to be for the people fallen in WWII) which is a solemn ceremony with a 2 minutes silence all over the country. (This is a normal working day, sometimes stopping a little early)
Saint Nicholas Our 'Christmas presents' we get from Sinterklaas, (saint Nicolas) on 5th December, the eve of his day on the calendar. He will come with his black helper, Piet, and visit most children in their school or at home (or both) on that day. This is a normal working day for all, and mostly a celebration for the children, although many adults also exchange presents, often in a funny or joking way.
Christmas Christmas is more a solem celebration, but some people exchange presents then in the American way, with father Christmas and so on. Most families get together for a dinner on Christmas day or the next day, known as first and second Christmas day.
New Year!! New years eve is a big celebration, and at midnight everybody who wants can send fireworks into the sky, which many people do. New years day is a day to get together with the family again, or visit the parents in law, so most people divide those visits between Christmas and New Year, so they do not have to spend all the time with the relatives.
Tulips <ul><li>The tulip has come to be a loved symbol of the Netherlands.
The season begins in March with crocuses, followed by the daffodil and the yellow narcissi. In April the hyacinths and tulips blosssom to some time in mid May, depending on the weather. </li></ul>