First of May is a national picnic day in Finland
CULTURE – 1 May is the international day of labour and in Belgium it is just a free day. In Finland, on the other hand, people celebrate it two days with sparkling wine and doughnuts.
Spring starts on 1 May in Finland no matter what the weather is. In the Scandinavian way, the celebration already begins the day before, on 30 April with a self-made lemon drink called sima, donuts, sausages and potato salad. On 1 May people gather in parks and restaurants to have a Vappu brunch. This May Day is called Vappu, and the name comes from Saint Valburg.
Party in the cold
In Finland the day is not only a day for the working class but also for baccalaureate graduates. On the streets people are having labour marches and high school graduates, no matter the age, are wearing white graduation hats.
Especially children wear carnival masks and often they get colourful air balloons. After Christmas and Midsummer celebration, Vappu is the moment when the Finnish people consume most alcohol, especially sparkling wine.
Because Vappu is also the celebration of spring, people prefer to party outdoors, although the temperature can be between 0-15 C. This year it is forecasted that Finland will have a white 1 May.