1st of May – Vappu
In Finland, May 1 is celebrated lavishly.
May Day is an international holiday celebrated annually on 1 May, mostly in the West, and is a bank holiday in many countries. It is a late spring holiday and an international holiday for studentsn and workers. In Finland, Vappu day and its eve are celebrated as a celebration of workers, students and the spring carnival. Since 1979, Vappu has been the official flag day in Finland, the Day of Finnish Labour. The holiday takes its name from Saint Walpurga, whose memorial day falls on 1 May.
Every year, students from a different university each year crown the statue Havis Amanda, near Helsinki harbour, with a student cap, on 30 April. The student cap is worn by graduate students in Finland. This crowning creates a lavish celebration with thousands of people in the heart of Helsinki. It can be compared to our carnival.
Also on 1 May, Finns are free and there are many activities. On this day, Finns behave much more exuberantly and less ‘aloof’ than usual. Everyone is welcome and given a warm welcome.