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Vappu Will Be Celebrated at Home – Things to Do from Crafting a Vappu Hat to Enjoying a Picnic on Your Balcony

The state of emergency caused by coronavirus also affects the celebrations of the Finnish Vappu (Swe. valborgsmässoafton, locally ”vappen”, and första maj, the celebration of Walpurgis Night and May Day), the biggest national carnival of spring. This year, we will stay at home but celebrate together. There are enough remote activities to last for several days.

– My own Vappu traditions include gathering at the Art Museum Hill, listening to the Vappu speech and of course enjoying a picnic. This year, Vappu will be celebrated at home. Putting student caps on can be enjoyed as a remote event and we can raise a virtual toast for spring, says Mayor of Turku Minna Arve.

The reason for remote Vappu is that the regulations on limiting gatherings due to the coronavirus situation remain in force. Therefore, an important rule is that no physical events are organised and all gatherings should be avoided. Instead, spring will be celebrated at home via remote access. In addition to traditional Vappu activities arranged by student associations, activities and entertainment are offered for example by the City of Turku Recreation Division.

– People should not gather to celebrate Vappu or have picnics in big groups. In accordance with the Government recommendation, spending time at public spaces unnecessarily should be avoided. When everyone obeys the instructions and restrictions, our collaborative effort will help our society return to normal everyday life as soon as possible, says Superintendent Stephan Sundqvist from the Southwest Finland Police Department.

The City of Turku will not deliver bins, portable toilets or dumpsters to parks as it would normally do. The remote Vappu will not cause any route or schedule changes to Föli transport.  On Thursday, Föli services run according to the normal schedule while on Vappu Day 1 May, the holiday schedule is in force.

A different kind of Vappu connects us

Higher education institutions in Turku and their student associations are strongly committed to celebrating Vappu responsibly. However, the atmosphere doesn’t have to fall short.

– The motto of Åbo Akademi during the coronavirus epidemic has been ”Together while apart”. To celebrate Vappu with that motto, you need imagination and ability to think differently. Now I would like to see social media channels flooding with Vappu images depicting creative ways of being ”Together while apart”. Strong together, smart together, says Vice Rector of Åbo Akademi Mikael Lindfelt.

– I encourage everyone to spend Vappu in 2020 enjoying life and spring but responsibly – and, preferably, at home. You can be in contact with your friends in many ways even if we cannot now gather traditionally, says Vice Rector of the University of Turku Piia Björn.

– Now is a good time to come up with ways to express communality safely from your own yard, balcony or sofa. Virtual activities are offered through different channels. In this way, we take care of our own health and the health of others, says Vice Rector of Turku University of Applied Sciences Juhani Soini.

Vappu activities of student associations on social media

All student associations in Turku will organise their Vappu events as remote activities and gatherings are not recommended in any form.

The speech given by the Chair of the Board at Åbo Akademis Studentkår Matias Martelin can be heard on the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Åbo Akademi at 6:20 pm. At 6:30 you can then begin to watch the Vappu programme of Yle. The programme has subtitles in Finnish and includes material from archives, interviews and music. Performers include Brahe Djäknar ja Florakören and Michael Monroe will also join as a guest.

Åbo Akademis Studentkår arrange a few other activities as well. You can find them by clicking this link to the Vappen 2020 Facebook event.

The TYYlikäs vappu event of the Student Union of the University of Turku adheres to the traditional Vappu schedule as precisely as possible even virtually. On Vappu Eve, students will enjoy punch on balconies and on Vappu Day it’s time for a home picnic. The statue Lilja gets a traditional washing and student cap and a Vappu speech will be given in the form of a video greeting.

The traditional Vappu Eve parade will be seen in the form of a video on the social media channels of the Student Union of the University of Turku at 5 pm. The traditional moment of putting student caps on will be preceded by music at 5:30 performed by Sohon Torwet and Turku University Choir. Yle Turku live broadcast via Yle Areena from 5:50 pm onwards will feature the recorded speech of Sofia Engblom, Chair of the Executive Board at the Student Union of the University of Turku, and student caps will then be put on. The speech will be broadcasted live through Turun Wappuradio.

Turun Wappuradio will help listeners to get into Vappu mood between 23 April and 30 April. An interdisciplinary campus radio is available at www.turunwappuradio.com for online listening, radio frequency 93.8 MHz.

Student overalls are part of Vappu and the Student Union is hoping all current students and alumni to hang their student overall on balconies or windows so that they are visible from the outside. 

The EpäWabu event of TUO, the Student Union of Turku University of Applied Sciences, will be held on Facebook. The Chairperson of TUO Jade Tähtinen will give a speech that can be heard on Turun Wappuradio at 5:15 pm on Vappu Eve. Afterwards, from 6 pm onwards, a Party Game Night with remote games and hanging out will be organised on TUO ‘s Discord channel.

Turku University of Applied Sciences student radio Radio offers relaxed Vappu-themed student action on Vappu Eve afternoon on their Instagram account @radio_tutka. There are also guests and participatory activities.

Entertainment and culture

A safe way to start your Vappu is by following the Vappu coffee live of Turku City Library on 30 April from 10 am to 11 am. The event organised on the Instagram account of Turku City Library will feature many faces seen during the library’s coffee mornings and a few new acquaintances from behind the scenes at the library. You can expect live music, paper streamer and discussions on the traditions and history of student Vappu.

The virtual concert of Turku Rock Academy at 7 pm on Vappu Eve will feature the artist Kappe who plays acoustic rock. Artist Dimma that mixes different music genres will perform at 9 pm. Also the previously streamed gigs can be found on the YouTube channel of Rock Academy.

Vappu at home will also be enhanced by the Chamber music live of Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. During the Vappu Matinee on 1 May, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra will be playing easy listening favourites at 3 pm. Offer some mead and doughnuts to spectators at home and enjoy the Vappu Day through music.

Also keep in mind the live broadcasts of Turku City Theatre via social media every Friday. The recordings of broadcasts can be found in the video section on the Facebook page of Turku City Theatre. 

Activities for the whole family

On the Instagram account of Vimma Art and Activity Centre for Youth, Vappu celebrations last throughout the week. Live Präkäämö is preparing for Vappu at home on Monday 27 April by crafting Vappu decorations to wear and to embellish your home with. Make funny hats for the whole family! New craft tips are published every day from Tuesday to Friday. For instance, you will learn how to make easy Vappu decorations out of newspapers and decorated mead bottles to celebrate the living room picnic of Vappu Day.

In the remote art workshop of Adventure Park Seikkailupuisto on 30 April, a Vappu animal will be crafted from materials found at home. You can follow the story of a giant living in Pääskyvuori caves on the Instagram of Adventure Park Seikkailupuisto. The giant is tired of lonely life and wants to join the instructors at Adventure Park Seikkailupuisto.

On Vappu Eve, you can join a Vappu exercise session offered by Turku Sports Services from 9:30 am to 10 am on the Facebook page of Impivaara Swimming Centre. You need a bottle of mead as equipment. A video on how to exercise outdoors responsibly and maintain safety distances will also be published for Vappu.

Vappu for adolescents

The open CSGO 1v1 tournament of the Youth Services is organised on Vappu Eve at 4 pm. The playful tournament is streamed on Turku Game Academy’s Discord channel. Movie tickets will be given as tournament prizes.

Lots of services and activities will be offered to adolescents during Vappu week. Mental support and things to do in the digital world can be found on the page of Youth Services at www.turku.fi/en/youth.

On Vappu Eve, there will be three outreach work pairs moving around the streets of Turku to talk with adolescents. These trained youth workers move around the Halinen area and the city centre. In city centre, they can be contacted by phone (Merja, tel. +358 50 5907671 and Eveliina, tel. +358 40 617 5754).

Share your Vappu photos with the hashtag #vappenhemma or #vappukotona

Capture your own ways to celebrate remote Vappu in Turku and share them on social media with the hashtag #vappenhemma or #vappukotona by tagging @cityofturku. Photos with the best Vappu atmosphere at home will be awarded with surprises.

Further information and links to all #vappuathome events can be found at www.turku.fi/en/vappuathome

For more Vappu activities, check the virtual events found in Turku events calendar.