Thursday May 06, 2021
Nation marks Vappu without physical crowding
Published : 01 May 2021, 00:02
Like the previous year, the country this year also celebrates International Workers’ Day, more widely known as the May Day, avoiding physical gathering due to the current coronavirus outbreak, commemorating the 1886 uprising of Chicago workers to establish their labour rights.
All outdoor programmes marking the May Day, locally known as Vappu, remain suspended owing to the restrictions following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Helsinki will organise a range of virtual programming to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
May Day Eve culminated in the ‘Vapun päällä vappu’ show, which was arranged in Virtual Helsinki in partnership with Nelonen Media and Zoan Oy.
The Havis Amanda statue received her cap this year, too, in the traditional ceremony. The student union of Hanken Svenska Handelshögskolan, which is responsible for this year’s ceremony, placed the cap on the Manta’s head before May Day.
National broadcaster Yle recorded the event, which made available for viewing early in the evening on May Day Eve through the Yle Areena service.
For the May Day holidays, the Havis Amanda statue will be protected with a fence. The City of Helsinki will not be deploying extra rubbish bins or portable toilets for May Day revellers.
New permits for commercial activities during the holidays will not be granted, nor will seasonal sales sites be rented out.
Like last year, the police are urging everyone to avoid close contact and public gatherings during this year’s May Day celebrations.
The police have been enforcing public order and security with a high profile around the May Day, while also monitoring the compliance with the restrictions imposed on food and beverage by service establishments.
The overall situation in the whole country has been very calm.
International Workers’ Day marks the 1886 Hay Market massacre in Chicago, when the Chicago police fired on workers demonstrating during a general strike aimed to press home their labour rights, including an eight-hour working day. The firing resulted in the deaths of several demonstrators and police officers.
The 1st of May was adopted as International Workers’ Day in 1889 by more than 400 socialist delegates who met at the Marxist International Socialist Congress, the founding meeting of the Second International, in Paris to mark the centenary of the French Revolution.
The 1889 resolution called for a one-time demonstration but it became an annual event in the course of time. The May Day was celebrated in Russia, Brazil and Ireland first in 1891.
The day is a public holiday in most countries.