Thursday, April 30, 2009

VAPPU/ VALBORGS / MAY DAY CELEBRATION

May Day festivities, or Vappu as it is called in Finnish (Valborg in Swedish) is a huge celebration welcoming the spring. Finns start celebrating it already day before May, the last day in April, by consuming large amounts of alcohol, sima (mead), tippaleipa (Finnish funnel cake) and doughnuts.
People gather around town in parks and squares, come rain, sleet or snow, and drink it up. Not a pretty sight always, because by drinking, I mean getting hammered. All these photos are from Helsinki.
Then the first day of May, once again come rain, sleet or snow, Finns celebrate more in more sophisticated style by enjoying picnics in the parks.
Sweet mead, or sima, is still prepared at home with old recipes that have been well tested through the years.It is flavored with flesh and rind of lemon and fermented.
Sima is usually enjoyed with either donuts or tippaleipä.This is a fun tradition that I plan to carry on when I have kids, now I'm just too lazy to go through all the baking and preparations just for the 2 of us. 
Hauskaa Vappua! Happy May Day!

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