May Day: the big student celebration in Finland

May Day celebrated by students? That's what you'll get if you study in Finland! During the 1st of May and its eve, the streets are invaded by people and colors, celebrating spring’s arrival with a “Finnish Carnival” kind of festival.


Students from universities in Finland, and even those who have left college already, decide to wear their high school graduation caps, turning Vappu into a cross-cut but, mainly, academic celebration.

Heidi Hänninen, from Study in Finland, the country's organization for higher education, unveiled a few more details about what international students in Finland should expect to do on the May Day in Finland:

Green, yellow, red… wonder which color overalls you’d be wearing in Finland today! Yes you heard it right, OVERALLS!  Vappu  (May first) is the highlight of the year for university students in Finland. It witnesses the biggest carnival-style festival held on the streets of Finland's towns and cities. Student traditions, particularly those of the engineering students, are one of the main characteristics of Vappu and overalls, which are color coordinated according to each faculty, are a keen part of the tradition. It’s a perfect opportunity be proud of your education and to experience a unique sense of belonging with other fellow students.

On this unusual International Worker's Day, picnic and sparkling wine, balloons, parades and costumes – and much more – are an important part of the celebration.

Want to see how the streets and students in Finland look like during Vappu?

Check the photo gallery here and find out everything about this Finnish-style Carnival. Who knows if, next year, you will be joining too? You'd better start thinking about the color of your overalls...