Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night, named after the Catholic saint Walburga, is celebrated in Central and Northern Europe on the last day of April. In Finland, "Vappu " Eve is associated with the celebrations on the 1st of May. It has become an urban carnival, celebrated by the working class as well as students. Also children participate with carnival traditions, such as balloons, serpentine, masks and horns.

The students celebrate by wearing their student outfit (which in most Universities is a colourful overall), and their white high school graduation caps. In Helsinki, the main tradition is gathering in the Market Square at 6 pm to watch a student group put the white student cap on the Havis Amanda statue in the middle of the square. This is no easy task, as the statue is fairly tall and located in the middle of a fountain. After the statue receives its cap, the spectators will also start wearing theirs. The celebrations continue in the evening in bars and restaurants.