12 May Vappu Day – Sunshine and Picnic
If you read my previous post, you will know a little something about Vappu, one of the most important days on the Finnish calendar. After a long night of partying (or even a long week), students, families, and those not impeded by an inevitable hangover, ventured out to Vartiovuori observatory (or the park nearby the observatory) to carry out the long-standing tradition of the May 1 picnic.
As expected, the weather was picturesque, the sun beaming down, as students and families gathered with their friends to sit in the park to officially celebrate May 1. Gathered in circles with friends and family, wearing overalls and the official graduation hat, and embracing the warm weather, locals typically eat traditional Vappu food (i.e. Munkki), drink Sima, and embrace the public holiday and relax.
In following suit, I and my girlfriend ventured out to the park to celebrate the day and enjoy the company of friends. One thing that immediately struck me was the stark numbers attending – it looked as if the whole population of Turku was there. Music can be heard playing around the park and there was a warm vibe which emitted across the city – a stark contrast to the glum nature which may be observed during the coldest parts of winter.
The opportunity to catch up with friends, eat good food, and embrace the transcendent beauty surrounding really made me appreciate what an amazing city Turku is and the wonderful opportunity I have been granted to study here.