May 1st is International Labor Day. For many Finns, is the season that starts spending their weekends or holidays at mökki, the holiday home I told you about in the last article. But let’s see a little bit where this holiday came from.
As Wikipedia says May Day has long been celebrated in the countryside, both among the peasants and the gentlemen. In some parts of the country, fires were burned it was customary to practice magic that promoted the success of cattle. The 1st of May was associated with work bans on public holidays, and also had an old ecclesiastical character on Valburg Memorial Day.
Going back to where we have fun rather than do spells, I would like to share how we spent it this year, after the pandemic and with more freedom. No, I didn’t go out to the club.
My husband and I went to spend Vappu with another family of friends. We did some shopping and went to them. They live in a house, not in an apartment like me, and they have a large and lively yard. On the list of the plan was fun, good food, and as much joy as possible.
It is known that any doctor would recommend grilled meat instead of fried in oil and we took the doctor’s advice very seriously. We started to warm up with some chicken skewers with vegetables, which to be honest were a delight. Then came the beef that was marinated overnight with all kinds of spices, wine, and garlic. Delicious.
As we listened to the barbecue symphony, the guys enjoyed an x and 0 game, with a few more degrees. Not much, but enough to heat the blood in their veins. The wind was blowing a little and it kept them warm. We girls were on beer, the star of any Finnish holiday.
And we made the barbecue in a pavilion specially designed for such culinary activities, we chose to eat there with the plate in our hands exactly in the Finnish style. At such events, it is not necessary to use more than one plate and fork.
How else could an evening of this have ended then with an honorable sauna? They have two saunas, one custom-made from a huge wooden barrel and another in the house. We chose the one inside the house because we had used the one outside last year after Christmas, so it was time to change the location.
I have to admit that we went to bed in the morning, but even so, where was the rush? We still woke up before lunch because it smelled like freshly brewed coffee. I love when the aroma of fresh coffee wakes me up and I drink it like that in my pajamas. We had breakfast together, a little devastated from the night before and with pillow traces still on our faces.
In the evening we arrived back home and prepared ourselves for the new work week that will begin today.
I am waiting for you in the comments with your stories, how you spent May 1st or what traditions are in your country. I would also like to learn about the traditions of other countries. Thank you for giving me another day to tell you about the Finnish Vappu tradition. Next week I will return to the normal schedule, I will post again on Sunday at 2 pm, Helsinki time.
Sources: Wikipedia, photo sources: personal archive