Somewhere from the swedish Valborg and the German Walburgis, the Finnish have created their own form of carneval: Vappu. Like the German it has to do a lot with celebrating and drinking. My first Vappu expierience was in Helsinki on the 30th when I had just arrived by plane form Germany and then took the train to Turku but in betweent I had some 3 hours and decided to visit a friend.

Well said friend recieved me on the stairs of Helsinki cathedral where he and the other students from his student organization waited and drank and celebrated. Apparently he had at one point worn his student overall to the carneval in Cologne and fit in really well.


But its not only for students, in Helsinki I saw plenty of old people wearing student hats and celebrating. And as we all know, celebrating in Finnland means also drinking a lot. Besides that the celebrations are really peacefull. We had good luck and sunny warm weather (warm in Finnland means around 15°C)

But in Turku the other part of the 1st of May tradition is a live as well. There were events from the Left Party and from the Greens. Maybe even from the SDP, but I didn’t see them.

And the leader of the Green Party gave a speech about Vappu. As you can see he and most other people wore their student heads.

So Vappu is not only a party of students, it is some kind of dress up (some people wore suits, some student overalls) for the entire community and carneval for the entire community. Yes it is really huge. And I saw only parts of it, because I was in Germany for 3 days talking about youth participation.


Ein Gedanke zu „Vappu“

  1. Thank you for your post!

    As in most of the countries, 30.4. and the 1st of May is a workers day, the official name in Finland is ‚day of finnish labour‘.
    So even the students play the big part in celebrating it especially in the University cities, it is not just a student fest. People with at least college degree wear the white cap, but majority of all the people celebrate Vappu in someway.

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