04/05/2006 By dadmin 0

Vappu Day in Helsinki!

Last weekend Finland celebrated the Vappu Day (May 1st)! We experienced it for the first time, so here is a short post about it. On Sunday evening, before 6pm, we went to the center, on Esplanade, with our neighbours Tuija and Vassilis, to see how the students wash the Havis Amanda statue and place a hat on her head. It was very crowded and dusty (remains from the winter gravel) but everybody was having fun 🙂

At 6pm, everybody took out their graduation caps (some white some more yellowish from years) and started to wave them . Then placed them on their heads and opened their sparkling wine bottles, hugging, kissing and drinking. It felt exactly like New Year’s Eve, but it was sunny and relatively warm! Then people started to move towards restaurants and other party places. We did the same but we took a detour to see how the gathering in front of the Lutheran Cathedral looked: impressive!

The stairs were totally full of people! That’s where the students gather to party and drink. So, we left and went to a Greek restaurant. I was not very willing to stay too long anyway since drunk people do not really interest me too much and after a few hours of “partying” it probably gets pretty bad.

Next day, on May 1st, there is another big tradition: people gather in the Kaivopuisto park to have picnic: some just sit around, others come with big, fancy outdoor tables and food.

We also went with Eija and Timo, and had some food and drink . The weather was excellent but at some point we started to move towards home since it was getting a little too crowded 🙂 When leaving, we passed this funny band, that was trying everything to not play at all correctly (it seems to be in purpose 🙂 ) !

So, that was all for us on Vappu! We did not get drunk but also did not have the courage to get out in the evening in the center. Overall, it was really fun to be there and see this tradition.

More photos here.