When travelers arrive in Aruba, there two things that catch the attention: how dry (desert-like) this island is and how many American brands there are around, specifically hotel and food chains.
There are ways to witness the true side of this island, especially on national holidays, such as today. Today Queen’s Day is celebrated throughout The Kingdom of The Netherlands in honor of Queen Beatrix mother’s birthday.
The celebrations differ in the different parts of the kingdom. In The Netherlands, traditionally the Queen visits two pre-picked Dutch towns where she, together with her family, goes around the town center for a few hours and meets her subjects. In the rest of the country in the major cities there are open-air festivals organized, where people mingle and celebrate. The biggest and best festivals are organized in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam.
On the islands the celebration are differently. The much beloved queen is remembered on her day with flag raising. Additionally there some small, traditional activities organized in the towns. In the morning the island officials and local Dutch marines have a little flag rising routine in honor of the Queen’s Day.
Now-a-days there’s some more contemporary celebrations organized by radio stations, motorcycle clubs or car clubs that go around the island in a caravan visiting the various festivities throughout the island.
It is tempting to visit Aruba and stay at the beaches all week, but on holidays perhaps you might want to go out and taste a little of the local culture.