A group of friends having a picknick.

You might have heard about Vappu? Vappu is International Labor day, May Day, 1st of May. In Finland it's a big celebration for students and workers. This is my all time favourite Finnish celebration! In this blog post you can find our top tips for real Finnish style Vappu.

  1. Try Finnish Vappu traditions

Traditionally Finnish people drink mead (in Finnish: sima, in Swedish: mjöd ) and eat doughnuts and funnel cake (in Finnish: tippaleipä, in Swedish: struva ). Also consumption of sparkling wine (and other alcohol) increases a lot among Finnish people.

You can buy lots of balloons and serpentine and decorate your home and yourself to be ready for this Finnish carnival. You can even buy beautiful and cute folio balloons, which of course are more expensive than normal balloons. Tip: If you want to buy folio balloon with helium, go to the supermarket a few days before Vappu day.  In Vappu market these balloons are really expensive, but if you buy it from supermarkets it’s much cheaper.

2. Celebrate Vappu more than one day

Vappu is a big thing for students. For many it's the end of the academic year and officially Spring is finally here. It's perhaps the best time of the year and you can't complain that there are not enough events organized!

Many students start to celebrate Vappu already a week (or even two) before the actual day! You can find tens of events organized by different organizations: sitsit, parties, races, quizzes, sport events, Vappu magazine release... Some students actually go to all events and participate to Vyy's Vappuputkinto or VAMK's Vappututkinto.

3. Go to at least one sitsit

Vappu is a golden time for sitsit. During Vappu week there will be at least one sitsit per day! ESN Vaasa is organizing Pallomeri sitsit on Friday 28.4. Pallomeri is the Finnish word for ball pit, so you can just imagine how fun it must be with Vappu pallomeri theme. And our afterparty in Fontana is going to be even more legendary. It will be organized together with Hallarit and Övertäjät and the theme will be My Little Ponies in Pallomeri.

4. Vappu Eve at Hoviska and Topelius capping ceremony

The last day of April 30.4. is Vappu Eve, and hundreds of people from all HEI's (Higher Education Institutes) go to Hoviska with their friends to have a picnic, drink or just enjoy the weather or happy atmosphere. You can see students wearing their overalls and white student caps. Also all kinds of silly outfits are recommended to wear: wigs, funny costumes or masks.

Board of ESN Vaasa will be at Hoviska too. You can find us under our flag and celebrate Vappu with us. We will bring traditional Finnish outdoor game Mölkky there, so you can try that, sing some sitsit songs with us or just hangout. Traditionally after the long day at Hoviska students go to see the Topelius Statue Capping ceremony at 18.00.

Later in the evening there will be huge Vappu parties in different nightclubs. You can find more information from your own student union. Remember to buy tickets on time, because Vappu is the event you don’t wanna miss!

5. Vappu market

After all the crazy parties, there will be the actual Vappu. Go to the marketplace and buy “metrilaku”. There is also a parade of old cars which is quite cool too. Oh and don’t forget to eat Vappu brunch with sparkling wine! You can enjoy it in various restaurants or at home or picnic style with your friends.

Oh and if you wonder why Finnish students use these hashtags long time before and after Vappu  #VapuEiLopu or #WapuEiLopu. They both literally mean that Vappu doesn’t end!


  • Minna Rantala





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