What is Vappu? It's more than a May First celebration. To the outsider it feels like a mish-mash of so many holidays: July 4th for the picnics and BBQs, graduation day for all this year's and former graduates wearing their white hats and getting crazy, Mardi Gras for the costumes, parades and balloons. Supposedly it's connected to Walpurgis Night, this link gives a bit more info. I still haven't figured it out really, but we did our best to celebrate this year.
The kids all get ridiculously expensive helium balloons on Vappu. I don't know why.
Families go out to parks and have picnics. We joined some friends in Sibellius Puisto because it's much quieter than Kaivopuisto which gets mobbed with the almost graduates and other brave souls. It's not summer here yet in May, so chances are it will be cold which it was this year, but we packed a lunch and went anyway.
Sibellius Park is a nice park near the sea. It gets regular busloads of tourist coming to see the monument to the composer Jean Sibellius, but it has enough space to avoid them if you want. We flew a kite, chased a ball, went to the play park, played on the rocks and near the sea, had a picnic, ate ice cream and the kids had mad spy adventures. Five hours in total, a pretty full day. All our cheeks were red from the sun or wind that evening.
|Spying from their 'tunnel'.|
Happy May. I hope this is the beginning of a great month.