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Public Holidays 2005-2006

Public Holidays in the Netherlands for 2005 are:
January 1 New Year's Day
March 25 Good Friday
March 27 Easter
March 28 Easter Monday
April 30 Queen's Birthday
May 5 Ascension Day
May 5 Liberation Day
May 15 Whit Sunday
May 16 Whit Monday
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 Second Christmas Day

Public Holidays in the Netherlands for 2006 are:
January 1 New Year's Day
April 14 Good Friday
April 16 Easter
April 17 Easter Monday
April 30 Queen's Birthday
May 25 Ascension Day
June 4 Whit Sunday
June 5 Whit Monday
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 Second Christmas Day

Posted by on Saturday, October 08 @ 03:27:23 UTC (4661 reads)
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Cannabis Cup November 20-24 2005

The Cannabis Cup lives on in Amsterdam. In spite of many shortcomings, the venerable cup continues to hazily stumble on year after year, due to hefty subsidies from High Times magazine. This 18th annual event will feature Patti Smith and her band, and the plan is to induct John Trudell into the Counterculture Hall of Fame. If you are not familiar with John Trudell, or his band Bad Dog, you should be. According to his website, "Trudell, a Vietnam Veteran, served in the U.S. Navy from 1963-1967, attended college for a while and then dropped out. In 1969, Trudell participated in the occupation of Alcatraz Island by Indians of All Tribes, becoming a spokesman for Indians of All Tribes. After the Indians of All Tribes occupation ended in 1971, Trudell worked with the American Indian Movement, becoming national Chairman of AIM in 1973. Trudell was chairman of AIM from 1973 until 1979. In February of 1979, Trudell's mother-in-law, wife and three children were killed in a fire of unknown origin." At that time he began to chronicle his experiences and his pain through music, and recorded a number of albums hailed critically by such artists as Bob Dylan. His material is a unique blend of poetry, Native instrumentation, blues and rock. With his new album "Bone Days" he has continued to try and raise the consciouness of all listeners to new levels of understanding. The Cannabis Cup will be further enhanced with the legendary Patti Smith on hand performing her work. Patti Smith has been on the scene, literally, since the 1960s when she lived in New York City with famed photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. She worked in avant garde thater productions and visual arts, until she found her voice and the words to stir up the music scene, producing one of the first independent rock DIY albums, recorded in 1974. Her career went on from there, with many bestselling albums including "Horses." Patti Smith took a hiatus from 1979 thru the mid 1990's, when she returned to the performing scene after the deaths of her husband and brother within a month of each other. Now she is a legend in her own right, showcasing the human condition with all its flaws and beauty through her music. This year the Cannabis Cup will be held at the Melkweg, and the Sugar Factory. Finally the cup management wised up and found a spot right by the Melkweg to use for the displays and seminars, etc. that always accompany the music festival that is the heart of the Cannabis Cup. The Sugar Factory was known as the Amuse Theater previously to this May, and its door is directly opposite the entrance to the Melweg. The Melkweg and Sugar Factory are located right off the Leidseplein, which is easily reached from anywhere in Amsterdam by tram, taxi or foot. Here's hoping your Cannabis Cup experience is everything you expect it to be! ~Martin Trip

Posted by on Monday, September 12 @ 01:08:50 UTC (6795 reads)
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Gay Pride Parade 2003

This year the sun was shining, the floats were outstanding, the crowd mellow and happy and everyone had an absolutely fabulous time!
Holland extends a warm welcome to gay people from all over the world. We'd heard the rumours of more nudity and live sex, but the acts were tasteful, with only some exposed flesh (see above).

Posted by on Sunday, August 03 @ 08:27:25 UTC (8790 reads)
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Highlife Hemp Expo: Cannabis Growing Technology Showcase

This annual event in Utrecht showcases the latest technology available for those who grow cannabis and hands out awards to the top produce from that technology. About 70 booths vied for attention selling everything from top quality seeds to get you started, to plant mediums like rock wool for hydroponic gardening, to fertilizers to ensure rapid healthy growth, to self-contained mini-growrooms, to complete computer controlled systems that monitor and control water, fertilizer, air circulation, CO2, lighting, automatically, even remotely via cellphone or the internet! Then there's the matter of harvesting your bounty. There's specialized machines to strip off the leaves, pollinators and ice-o-lator bags to separate the tricomes from the flowers to make hash, and of course every shape, size and color of pipes, bongs, and vaporizers to provide the final delivery of the THC to your brain. Among the aisles there were also some interesting educational booths like the Smoking Museum in Paris, and you could pick up a new music CD entitled "Oma's Medicine" (grandma's medicine), consisting of dance music and lyrics (in Dutch) which pokes fun at the social taboos surrounding marijuana. There were also booths showing off food and beverages made from cannabis, and hemp fiber clothing and other commercial uses of this miraculous plant! While most of the companies and visitors attending the expo are Dutch, there were a fair number of American and English guests scoping out the scene. If you're into big time growing, or you have products to sell to such growers, this is a good venue to catch up on the latest tech offerings. The event is a production of Highlife Magazine, a Dutch publication that covers the recreational, social, political and business issues of the cannabis trade. Opening night trophies were awarded to those products that were reviewed by cannabis professionals. These included the inevitable awards for the best Hydro and Bio weed and hashish of course! Fortunately, I had the great pleasure of judging a few varieties myself, as I am friends with the Cannabis Poet who was given so many samples, it took him weeks to test them all. I remember one session where four of the heaviest smokers I know, sat down to a joint (with the only identification being that it was E-7). I took the first hit and as the sweet smooth smoke slid into my lungs, I went to put the joint down and froze just a few inches from the ashtray. After what seemed like an eternity one of my companions grabbed the joint (which was still smoldering in my fingers) and berated me for not passing it. She took a hit and passed it. By the time all of us had taken one hit we were all flying, the conversation had ground to a halt and the joint just sat there in the ashtray. We had to consciously force ourselves to take another round of hits. We were so high, and getting higher, that none of us felt it necessary to smoke more! It was unbelievable (esp. considering the voracious habits of those I was smoking with!). We all ultimately agreed this was the best of the lot. I still don't know what that was, or whether it got the top award or not. But it sure deserved it! Now if I could just find some more!!!

Posted by on Monday, May 06 @ 06:55:54 UTC (47531 reads)
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Silkroad Festival 2002

The Silkroad Festival 2002 will be hosted by Yo-Yo Ma, and he brings us down a journey on the ancient route from the Meditteranean Sea to the Far East. Along with musicians from China and Azerbidjan, Yo-Yo Ma presents nine concerts over six days in the world famous Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The first in the series is on January 25, 2002 and the last is on February 3rd.You may buy a ticket to the entire series for € 122.52 (euros) or pay for each concert - if they don't sell out. If interested it's best to get your tickets now, directly from the Concertgebouw. You can call and buy tix with a credit card over the phone. Check their website for more info on that.

Posted by on Friday, January 04 @ 16:18:20 UTC (4516 reads)
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A Tale of Two Wars, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bong!

The Pax Party House, home to the Cannabis Cup, right next to the police station. A typical example of Dutch tolerance! "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times", to quote Dickens. For the 1600+ stoner attendees at the 2001 High Times Cannabis Cup, it was the best of times. Imagine being able to choose the best quality marijuana and hashish samples from 22 different coffeeshops representing the most diverse selection available anywhere in the world. But at yesterday's press conference we were reminded that for many persecuted and incarcerated cannabis users including those in medical need, it is indeed the worst of times. Not long after attending the press conference, I got to watch another press conference on another continent and the differences in attitude couldn't be more telling. The press conference in the U.S. was about the War on Afghanistan. The press conference in Amsterdam discussed the War On Drugs. All the press in the U.S. were wearing the latest fashion for Pentagon reporters, fatigue green. In Amsterdam the reporters were sporting psychedelic tie-dyes, hemp shirts and anything green around was being eagerly consumed in joints and bongs. At the Pentagon press conference, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was smiling and joking as he discussed "search and destroy missions", "secret ops", "collateral damage" and of course finding better ways to kill "the enemy". At the Pax Party House, Stephen Gaskin, his wife Ina, and other 60s icons like Paul Krassner were likewise smiling and talking about hippies, the counterculture, the environment, helping people with Aids, cancer, MS and other illnesses with cannabis. In both cases the propaganda is meant for a wide audience, but while the right-wing fascists think only of war and retribution, cannabis activists still long for the freedom to self-medicate, to replace non-renewable resources with superior, natural hemp products, and to smoke marijuana openly without fear of imprisonment, loss of job or loss of property. America's War on Drugs has continued unabated for decades now, and after spending around $100 billion, what have they got to show for it? Stephen Gaskin seemed to sum up the sentiments of many present when he said "I am so profoundly ashamed of the idiots running our country." Stephen Gaskin, the eternal hippie! Meanwhile another war has taken center stage, and made an impact not only on this year's Cannabis Cup (attendance is down about 30%), but it has also temporarily sidetracked the whole effort to decriminalize and legalize cannabis growing and consumption. Thankfully, the annual Cannabis Cup again reminds us that we have not yet won the battle to free the plant and those who use it from ongoing persecution and imprisonment. We were reminded that despite the fact that we are now growing more cannabis than ever and we're more organized than ever, there is still much to do to change the perception of the masses towards this gift to mankind. Vivian, director of the Seattle Hempfest and Washington State's Norml chapter, easily the most "colorful" speaker. In Europe the movement to decriminalize has gained a lot of momentum as the U.K. and other E.U. countries review their laws and reclassify cannabis or legalize consumption like Belgium and Portugal. Holland is still at the forefront of cannabis culture, with around 900 coffeeshops licensed to serve marijuana products. Yet, as Arjan, the spokesman for the Dutch Cannabis Retailer's Association, pointed out, although Holland has the "best drug policy in the world", and the lowest amount of HIV, hepatitis and heroin junkies in Europe, it's still illegal to grow marijuana in Holland. For some like those who profit from arms sales, it is the best of times. For others like us cannabis activists we are still waiting for our good times to come, and the Cannabis Cup is just a taste of what to expect!

Note: The Cannabis Cup is an annual institution in Amsterdam. Stoners from around the world come to try out the best marijuana and hashish in the world.

Posted by on Tuesday, November 20 @ 08:31:32 UTC (9584 reads)
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Jorge Cervantes Visits Cannabis College

World-famous author and horticulturist JORGE CERVANTES visited the CANNABIS COLLEGE on Saturday, September 29, 2001. Jorge was in Amsterdam to present his new book “INDOOR MARIJUANA HORTICULTURE - THE INDOOR BIBLE” and sign copies for guests. A party for Jorge was held in the Cannabis College, located on the Oudezijdes Achterburgwal in Amsterdam’s recently renovated Red Light District. Invitations were sent to "potsenalities" and media representatives from around the world, and the public was also invited to attend.Review this book!

Posted by on Friday, October 05 @ 04:28:04 UTC (10098 reads)
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The annual Hartjesdag parade harkens back two centuries when one day a year, the local people were allowed to hunt deer on a large private estate. A public feast would follow, with lots of drinking, music and dancing. Today, it's pretty much the same, including a public brunch, a speech by the mayor, some street theater, music, lots of drinking, and oh yes, a parade with drag queens and drag princes. The parade was short with maybe fifty participants, mostly women in a Brazilian band, and not so many drag queens and princes as you would expect from Amsterdam. Perhaps many were still recovering from the Gay Pride weekend the week before. But the audience was enthusiastic, the music lively, and the streets were packed with tourists and locals enjoying the day in the Red Light District. It seemed every restaurant and cafe had all their tables out on the Zeedijk which added to the festive atmosphere. Lots of impromtu booths in front of doorways were selling lompia, curries and other asian specialties.

Posted by on Friday, August 24 @ 06:02:40 UTC (9201 reads)
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Molendag (Windmill Day)

Windmills open to the public and unfurl their sails the second Saturday in May.

Posted by on Thursday, June 21 @ 03:44:33 UTC (4637 reads)
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Boeken op de Dam (Books on the Dam)

In late May, The Dam Square is filled with book stalls and an outdoor pop concert.

Posted by on Thursday, June 21 @ 03:42:14 UTC (3201 reads)
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