Famous for its windmills and the lovely tulips spread on its plains, Holland also known as The Netherlands, is a great country to visit and live. It is true that it is quite small and you can drive from the north to the south in about three hours, but there are plenty beautiful places to visit. Spending a day captivated by the majestic beauty of one of the worlds finest flower fields in March to May is one of the most enchanting things you can offer yourself.
The north of the country has those stunning hosts of flowers. Since 1950, the bulb growers have organized an annual international exhibition with millions of flowers including daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. Every spring, the well-known Keukenhof Garden offers a cheerful banquet for your eyes. Around 80 acres of twisting paths, serene ponds, playful streams and thousands of flowers, much more than you can imagine. Keukenhof Garden also offers for admiration seven themed gardens, a corn mill, sculptures, and a special path for children.
The Netherlands is strongly associated with windmills. A windmill with a river passing by is the idyllic picture of Holland. The Dutch needed the windmills since they used them to drain the land as well as for corn milling, saw milling, and other industrial purposes. Another interesting thing to note is that, Holland has a whole province reclaimed from the sea ― the province of Flevoland. Starting back in time, 2000 years ago, the 12th province of Holland was coming to life, not from Germany or other neighbor but from the North sea. Frisians, the Dutch ancestors, have been struggling to reclaim the land from the North Sea for more than 2000 years. The first dikes to hold back the water were named 'terpen' and Frisians built them but in 1287. They failed and the country was flooded.
Zuiderzee (South Sea) which was a new bay, came to life because of this flood, and since, the Dutch worked to push the water back into the North Sea by building dikes and creating polders. A polder represents any piece of land reclaimed from the water and they are kept dry by draining the land using canals and pumps. Windmills have been used for this purpose since the year 1200. Today the Dutch have their unique major project to reclaim land from the Zuiderzee, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. A 30.5 km (19 mile) long dike called Afsluitdijk (the Barrier dike) was built, turning the Zuiderzee into the Ijsselmeer, a freshwater lake. It is indeed an amazing achievement, as today, over 27 percent of the Netherlands is actually below sea level and this very area is home to over 60 percent of the country's population.
The Dutch themselves are very friendly and open people. Their craziest day of the year is Koninginnedag or Queen's Day. On April 30, this annual festivity commemorates the Queen Mother's birthday. Everyone wears orange on this day. It is the color of the royal house and so it is a must on Queen's day. There is so much joy and the street parties are a moment when friends and neighbors gather and have a good time over some nice traditional food. The trading laws vanish for this day and anyone can sell whatever they want on the street, so the whole place becomes the craziest flea market. Music pumping out of sound systems and funniest representations, camel tours for children, all kinds of the yummiest sweets, and everything you can imagine to entertain all the people. Many people who want a boat party on Amsterdam's channels come to spend the day in the most colorful city of the country. Every Dutch is proud to wear orange on this day more than on any other day.
Vivid and representative, orange and Holland both express the strong will to live through hardships.