During my first weeks in Tampere I experienced the first of May celebrations in Finland also known as “Vappu”. In contrast to some other countries, the first of May is less important for workers’ rights and more relevant for the university students. The night before is often spend partying, while on the day itself everyone joins for huge public gatherings with sweets, picnics and alcohol. Sima a mead like beverage and munkki, a suggar coated donut are typical for those celebrations and sold in small booths all over the city. Freshly graduated students as well as alumni wear their white student cap and every city has its own traditions on what else is organized on the day. In Tampere, students will be submerged into the river running through the city. This is done in the most convenient way possible: by picking up a cage with students by crane. This spectacle is observed by the whole town, who gather at the riverside and bridge to have a look.

Party and picnic at the riverside. Picture by Finn Tryggvason

Dipping the students into the water by crane. Picture by Finn Tryggvason

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