Vappu in Finland

national and public holidays in France National Holiday in Finland

Helsinki, Finland

When is Vappu?

How long until Vappu?
This holiday next takes place in 12 Days.
Dates of Vappu
Year Weekday Date
2020 Friday May 1st
2019 Wednesday May 1st
2018 Tuesday May 1st
2017 Monday May 1st
This holiday is most commonly associated as a commemoration of the achievements of the labor movement
Related holidays
UK May Day / Labour Day

Vappu is celebrated annually on 1 May and marks the end of winter. It is also celebrated as International Labour Day and is one of the biggest festivals of the year in Finland alongside Midsummer's Day and Christmas.

What is Vappu?

With its northern latitude leading to cold. dark winters, the arrival of spring has always been a welcome event in Finland and a tradition of a festival to mark the turning of the seasons dates back to pagan times.

A Finnish twist on the May Day celebrations developed in the nineteenth century when engineering students would celebrate and party at midnight on 30 April, while sporting their traditional white caps.

This custom has now become widespread across Finland, leading to almost a carnival-like partying in towns and cities with large student populations.

Festivities begin in Helsinki at 6pm on 30 April, when students will gather at the Market Square to wash the statue of a nude female called Havis Amanda, before putting a white cap on her head.

On 1 May, students and graduates will then lead a procession through Helsinki, ending in large open-air picnics in the parks across the city. Mead and doughnuts are traditional treats on this day.

Vappu photo gallery

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