|Amsterdam's Zeedijk Hartjesdag 2012|
Hartjesdag was originally Hertjesday (Deer Day) and dates back to the Middle Ages when hunting deer was allowed by normal people. Somewhere along the way it turned into a cross dressing festival.
|Hartjesdag Zeedijk. Painter Johan Braakensiek (1858-1940)|
During World War 2 the festival was banned by the occupying Nazi Germans. Nevertheless, Zeedijk became a refuge for those persecuted by the Nazis. Officers of the occupying forces were not allowed to frequent the street as it was seen as beneath them.
|Strolling the promenade. Zeedijk Amsterdam 2012|
Today, Zeedijk, Amsterdam's medieval sea wall, is a diverse street that includes Amsterdam's Chinatown and oldest Gay bar. The street also contains one of the only wooden facade buildings in the city.
Hartjesday is a weird and wonderful festival that reminds people Amsterdam is a livable city of many small neighborhoods. Highlights of the Festival are always the cross dressing competition, choirs and the opera.
When in Amsterdam....enjoy!