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Finns to celebrate Vappu at home this year

Published : 25 Apr 2020, 01:27

  DF Report

The statue of Havis Amanda is seen wearing a student cap in Helsinki, Finland, on April 30, 2019. Havis Amanda, a landmark bronze statue of Helsinki, was crowned with a student cap on the eve of May Day. File Photo Xinhua by Li Jizhi.

The Ministry of the Interior and the police have launched the #virtuaalivappu campaign, which encourages people to deviate from traditions and celebrate vappu on the web, in line with the restrictions on gatherings.

The aim is to give people alternative ways to spend vappu together while avoiding close contacts and the online vappu events will be available at virtuaalivappu.fi, said a government press release.

"Vappu is traditionally celebrated together and outdoors. Now, because of the coronavirus epidemic and the restrictions on gatherings, this is not possible. But just because we can’t have picnics in the park or watch Havis Amanda get her cap at the Market Square, that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to celebrate in other ways. Vappu is not cancelled – it is now being celebrated at home and virtually," said Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo.

Over the next week, the virtuaalivappu.fi website is putting together the most entertaining tips for how to spend your time on the day before vappu and on vappu itself.

Artists, influencers, student organisations, communities, businesses, cities and municipalities can provide information about their free vappu livestreams that are open to all.

Dozens of people are already involved, and the aim is to gather as many different events as possible on the website.

One influencer planning his own livestream is Tuure Boelius, a YouTuber and artist who is encouraging his followers to celebrate virtual vappu on Instagram and TikTok. Instagram influencers Hanna Sumari, Juhani Koskinen, Päivi Sappinen, Emmi Nuorgam, Hanne Kettunen, Inari Fernández, Dosdela, Joonas Pesonen and A-lapset are also taking part.

The campaign is motivated by the authorities’ concerns about people complying with the restrictions on gatherings during vappu. While the police will be visibly monitoring compliance with the restrictions on gatherings and restaurants, the responsibility for compliance with these restrictions and for ensuring responsible behaviour ultimately rests with the people themselves. All physical contacts must now be kept to a minimum, even if they are not directly prohibited by law.

"The restrictions on physical contacts are especially difficult during holidays. However, it is important to remember why they are in place: to protect lives and health, for risk groups and all of us. The restrictions in effect seem to be working, and thanks for this are due to all responsible Finns and other people living in Finland. That said, the situation may change rapidly if people fail to comply with the restrictions. The coronavirus spreads precisely when we spend time together at close range," Ohisalo added.