Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Vappu Celebrations

Well, it finally came: the greatest celebration in Finland! Vappu! It's said to be the closest thing to a Carnival type event, that occurs yearly just before the 1st of May [that's on April 30th]. Vappu National Day is is a pagan holiday which dates back to the days of the Vikings

It truly surprised me to see so many Finns gathered in on area [the Finnish being as reserved as they are]; it was the greatest concentration of Finnish students and people that I had seen since I came there to Turku.

On this day, we got a case of beers and trotted to the top of the museum hill to a park, where all the Finns were scattered onto the green warm grass, enjoying, drinking, and socializing. After which a speech was given in from of the museum and in front of thousands of Finnish students and past students who capped their heads with their white graduation hats [making the entire street white!]. Then they all proceeded almost like clock-work to a statue which they bathed and capped with a gigantic white cap that students are challenged to try to steal. This happens every single year!

It's this type of tradition that got me envious of this country - tradition to such a meticulous level that old people from years back with their stained white caps still came out to fulfill it. In Trinidad, you do see national commitment to that level: A Holiday is just another reason to drink, but in Finland, a holiday is another reason to drink AND to fulfill traditions!

For more pictures see:

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