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Vappu – celebrating spring and student life

26.04.2012

Spring has finally arrived in Finland and with it, of course, the biggest student party of the year: Vappu. Vappu is a big spring festival and celebrated all over Finland. For many students it is the highlight of the year. On the 30th of April and 1st of May you can see students wearing overalls and doing silly things all over Helsinki. Why don’t you join them?

Here is some practical info and tips to help you celebrate the best Vappu ever:

On the 30th of April:
A lot of student organizations have some punsch in the afternoon to toast to Vappu. Afterwards, they will go together to watch the crowning of the Havis Amanda statue. Havis Amanda, a fountain and a statue, is one of the landmarks in Helsinki. On Vappu she is given a good scrub and a white student hat. Bring your own food and drinks. In Finland, we usually drink sparkling wine on Vappu. Vappu is also usually celebrated in colorful wigs, sunglasses, face and hair paint, streamers and balloons, and if you have student overalls, this is the time to wear them!

On May Day, 1st of May:
On May Day morning the party continues in Kaivopuisto park where all students gather to celebrate (except the Swedish speaking students who gather in Kaisaniemi park). It’s like a big picnic, so bring your own food and drink. The dress code is still funny hats/sunglasses and overalls. Finnish students wear their student hats (ylioppilaslakki), that they got when they graduated from high school.

Also, it is a must to try traditional Finnish Vappu food such as mead (or "sima" in finnish), dognuts and "tippaleipä" (funnel cake) that can be found in all grocery stores this time of the year.

Happy Vappu!

(This text was originally posted on the Welcome to UH -blog)