Just five days after watching the Pride event here in Amsterdam, I spent last night at an entirely different sort of Parade - the succinctly named "Parade".

Parade is a pretty unique event that is held annually in Holland's four largest cities - Rotterdam, Den Haag, Utrecht and Amsterdam. It is a collection of temporary restaurants and bars all centered around small performances (mainly short plays) held in tents by amateurs and professionals.

There is also a silent disco - where a DJ spins tunes and everyone wears special headphones, so while they boogie and occasionally let out a big "whooo", the observers on the outside hear nothing and basically watch a bunch of temporarily insane people get down. It's hilarious to watch.

The whole event is the embodiment of the Dutch word gezellig (note to non-Dutch speakers - you will injure yourself if you try to pronounce it). Essentially, "cozy" is a close translation but also somewhat lame-sounding - as with so many foreign words there is no direct meaning in another tongue.

Sitting in Martin Luther King Park, with the Amstel river snaking past, it is an annual favourite of many Amsterdammers who come to see and be seen, drink and be drunk (and many sheepishly admit to not even checking out any performances - and with all the fun outside, it's tough to blame them). I will add to the sheepishness - although there are still 10 days left to check out a show or two. It runs for two weeks every August.

The gezellig part has to do with the arrangement of all the tents, temporary cafes, and communal picnic tables nestled in the trees, enclosed around you like a big neighborhood.

And in a YouTube, Twitter, and home theatre world, it's also nice to be occasionally entertained in analogue mode instead of digitally.

The list of performances

The performers do small bits outside to entice people to come in for their show
(This one? Not so enticing)

Going to the bathroom for a good cause