The eve of Luxembourg’s National Day on June 22nd sees live music and dj sessions liven up the streets, bars and cafes of the capital until dawn, with Patriotic parades and religious services on the 23rd – certainly a celebration not to be missed. Lets take a look at how some other countries celebrate their own National Days…
- As accommodation prices are subject to change, please double check directly with those listed here for the latest rates.
Qatar, 18th December
Qatar’s National Day, also known as Founder’s Day, marks their unification and independence in 1878 when Shaikh Jasim, the founder of the State, succeeded his father, Shaikh Muhammad Bin Thani, as the ruler and led the country towards unity. This celebration gives Qatari nationals and expatriates the opportunity to recognise and celebrate what it means to live in modern day Qatar, and to commemorate those who have worked and continue to work to make it a great nation. The day’s celebrations begin early in the morning at the Corniche where masses of people congregate to watch a parade by the Armed Forces, during which Campbell, formerly a Qatar resident, says the much-loved Emir (flanked by bodyguards) walks along shaking as many hands as he can. After the parade there is music, balloons, cars and flag waving before more music, lights and giant fireworks in a spectacular display around 10pm. The National Day activities are organised by the State national day Celebrations Orgainizing Committee (SNDCOC), whose vision is to “Strengthen Solidarity, Loyalty and Pride in National Identity“.
Where to Stay
- Oryx Rotana Doha, Al Nahda School Street, Doha, Qatar. Situated less than a mile from the Corniche you can throw yourself into the thick of the celebrations without having to walk too far to get back to base. Boasting favourable reviews on Trip Advisor including good food, service and value for money, this hotel is a mere stroll from the sparkling blue waters of the Arabian Gulf. For 2 people in a double room over the National Day period prices start at €128/night, including airport transfers, buffet breakfast and internet access.
- Al Jomrok Boutique Hotel, Souq Waqif, Doha 1274, Qatar. Located in Souq Waqif next to the Modern Art Gallery, this boutique hotel offers modern rooms with an Arabian-inspired décor. Venture nearby to see the Heritage House Museum, the Souq Waqif, and Doha Fort, before relaxing around the outdoor pool. For 2 people in a double room over the National Day period prices start at around €100/night.
- Fly: Qatar Airways fly direct from Brussels to Doha.
- Many hotels offer airport transfers at no extra cost, please check with your accommodation provider when booking.
Holland, 27th April
King’s Day (formerly Queen’s Day) has been the national holiday in Holland for over a century, emphasising national unity. It’s the country’s largest national event, where a sea of orange sweeps through the country as a show of pride for the Dutch Royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau. Although country-wide celebrations take place, Amsterdam is a great place to enjoy the festivities as it is transformed into an orange party town with locals and visitors enjoying the biggest street party of the year. On the eve of the big day (King’s Night) the fun in the city begins with a carnival atmosphere where DJs play on public squares, live music from café patios spills out onto the streets, and thousands of brightly decorated boats pack the narrow canals. And if you don’t happen to be on one of the boats, try the next best thing and dance on one of the many bridges! The next day amble through the city-wide street markets and try your hand at haggling, enjoy a host of kid and family-friendly activities, and partake in a glass of Oranjebitter and toast to the King’s health.
Where to Stay
- Mauro Mansion, Geldersekade 16, 1012 BH Amsterdam, The Netherlands . The website description says it all “Mauro is a relaxed, romantic & quirky 9-room hotel, situated in a classic 16th century canal house right in the middle of the historical centre. You will find yourself between 2 former medieval city gates, a unique spot to start exploring Amsterdam.” Check out the reviews on Trip Advisor and you’ll want to stay here too! €170/night, minimum 3 night stay and normally no arrivals or departures allowed on the day itself due to crowds making it difficult to reach the hotel.
- Hotel Keizershof, Keizersgracht 618, Amsterdam 1017 ER, The Netherlands . The website might not sell you on this place, but the reviews should. Situated in a great location for the tourist sights and access to transport, but tucked away on a quiet canal with a wide choice of restaurants close by, the hosts of this seventeenth century canal-house promise to offer you the friendly Dutch atmosphere and service that you expect. For 2 people in a double room over the National Day period prices start from €135/night, with a canal view and including breakfast.
- Fly – KLM fly direct from Luxembourg to Amsterdam.
- Check when booking your accommodation for the best option for getting from the airport to your hotel.
- Drive – 3.5 – 4 hours from Luxembourg to Amsterdam.
Photo: Passer-by/flickr (file)
Norway, 17th May
Where to Stay
- Clarion Collection Hotel Gabelshus, Gabelsgate 16, Oslo, NO, 0272. This hotel is rich in history, dating back to the early 1900s. As eating out can be expensive in Oslo, take advantage of the breakfast and light evening buffet included in your room price. €133/night, including breakfast and light evening meal.
- The Thief, Landgangen 1, Oslo 0252, Norway. Centrally located in Oslo’s new arts and business district, and rated the #1 hotel in Oslo by Trip Advisor, this hotel “treats rock stars like guests and guests like rock stars”. Enjoy a cold drink with a view on the roof terrace in summer, or indulge in their newly opened spa. For 2 people in a double room over the National Day period prices start from around €320/night, including breakfast, wifi and tickets for the Astrup Fearnley Museum.
- Fly: SAS and Brussels Airlines fly direct from Brussels to Oslo.
- Check when booking accommodation for airport transfers, or take the Airport Express Train and then walk or taxi to your hotel.
India, 26th January
Celebrations for Republic Day mark India’s adoption of a republic constitution on January 26 1950, after gaining independence from British rule in 1947. While smaller celebrations are held in each state, festivities take place on a grand scale in the capital of Delhi. One of the most colourful and prestigious national festivals, the president of India presides over a parade paying tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives for the country and where bravery awards are given to military persons, citizenry and children for showing courage in the face of adversity. A 21 gun salute is followed by the unfurling of the National Flag and singing of the National Anthem, then at 9:30am tanks, missiles and the arsenal of the military feature early in the parade, as do different regiments of the armed forces, police, Home Guards and National Cadet Corps. Vibrant displays of each Indian state and cultural dances precede the grand finale of the parade – dare devil motor cycle riding and an airshow by Indian Air Force fighter jets over Rajpath. You will need tickets for this event, and it’s recommended that you splash out for reserved tickets to ensure a good view. You should be aware there are strict security checks for this event, and mobile phones, cameras, and all other electronic devices are not allowed.
Where to Stay
- The Leela Palace, Chanakyapuri, Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi 110023, India. At this architecturally stunning 5 star hotel you can relax in your luxurious suite, enjoy treatments at The Spa by ESPA, or take a dip in the rooftop temperature-controlled swimming pool. The food regularly receives excellent reviews and includes European, Indian and Japanese cuisine options. For 2 people in a double room over the National Day period prices start from around €170 (not including some taxes, please check when booking).
- Cottage Ganga Inn, 1532, Bazar Sangtrashan, (Behind Khanna Cinema) Paharganj, New Delhi-110055, India. Located in the heart of Delhi near the ever-bustling markets of Connaught Place, you can enjoy free Wi-Fi, dinner in the rooftop restaurant, and close proximity to the Red Fort and India Gate. Surprised by the price? Check out the reviews and rest assured it is worth the stay! For 2 people in a standard double room over the National Day period prices start from around €13/night.
- Fly: Jet Airways fly direct from Brussels to Delhi.
- Luxair and Lufthansa are two of the airlines that fly to Delhi from Luxembourg, with a stop in Munich or Vienna.
- Check when booking accommodation for airport transfers.
Featured photo: Tarun Kumar/flickr (file)