Well its that time again,1 May.This has got to be the biggest party day through out Finland.Every one has a reason to celebrate this day,from workers who celebrate it as Workers Day,to Students who take it as Students Day.
Basically it is a day or two of drinking and partying,every one and everything goes sort of pear shaped.The police get together when ever they do,and do presumably what police do.When I said its about drinking,I really mean drinking!Traditionally students will gather in vast crowds around the The Harvis Amanda statue at the bottom of Esplanade to place a students white cap on her head.The statue was sculpted by Ville Vallgren (1855-1940)in 1906.
Paris and this year marks the 100th birthday of the statue,a big occasion for celebrating crowds.
So what does all this mean:-Collectively this is about the most boisterous and carnival like atmosphere to settle over and through Finland.Persons who have earned their white caps(high school/A levels)don them at 1800 and pretty much wear them till the end of the next day.
People will be found drinking sparkling wines and various other liquids.As the evening progresses innocents will either fall and sleep where they are,straggle home or just plain simply go from one party to the next.
The next day friends and families head for the parks.The biggest and most popular is Kaivopuisto Park in southern Helsinki ,where traditional delicacies such as tippaleipä,fritters are usually served with mead or sima;this drink is made from water,brown sugar or honey,lemons and yeast.Other people will add their own spirits too this.
I believe this May Day the City of Helsinki and The Helsingin Sanomat newspaper are organising an empty bottles for cinema tickets campaign.This speaks for itself as most parks are littered with empty bottles after the two day celebration.Over the years I have joined in,and rambled around the city of Helsinki,but this year I may stay away from the evening before and just aim to get too the parks on May1.Hell,at least I will not have a cräpylä(hangover)and maybe,just maybe I shall remember some of it………………….I shall keep you informed as it is still 3 weeks away;however friends are inquiring as to what I am doing that weekend already.