Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Happy Vappu!

Tens of thousands of people have gathered today in the centre of Helsinki to celebrate Vappu. It's all about the arrival of spring, about the students and the workers making a big deal of themselves, and most of all, the carneval spirit... and well, just good old spirit, i.e. alcohol. Vappu is my least favourite public drinking holiday, maybe with the possible exception of New Year's eve. When Havis Amanda (a local statue) was given her annual Vappu cap, Helsingin Sanomat (the big local newspaper) was there to take this picture:

Meanwhile, I was wandering in the forests of my neighbourhood, and took these pictures. Hmm, I wonder which Vappu I prefer..?

The white flowers are wood anemones, also known as windflowers. They usually bloom around mother's day, but this year they are early.

I took this picture of the field that belongs to the nearby stables just because you can sort of see the green emerging from everywhere, not just the grass, but the trees further back too. I love how everything is still bare, but you can tell that there are thousands and thousands of leaves waiting to burst out into the open.

It was so warm today that I got to wear my Gudrun Sjoden linen jacket. Happy Vappu, everyone!


Anonymous said...

Happy Vappu, waves

Anonymous said...

And a Happy Vappu to you, too!! (Oy, I HOPE the second syllable of 'Vappu' rhymes with 'you', and 'too'! :).. I am ashamed to say that I had never heard of Vappu...May Day, of course, I am familiar with. So I read about Vappu online...the capping of the mermaid statue....the gatherings at markets to find knick-knacks to share...the glorious and prodigious drinking! (I am not much of a drinker myself, but the articles I read made it sound as though imbibing was mandatory at the celebrations). It sounds like a cross between New Year's Eve, and Mardi Gras. May I ask Waves, the two holidays you do not favor are ones where drinking is uncontrolled, and out of hand (NY's Eve & Vappu) it the public display of drunkenness that makes these holidays ones you do not enjoy?
I much prefer your own alternative to the crush of people who must be still celebrating Vappu, even as I type this...there is nothing like a walk in the woods, and the flowers you have shown us are beautiful. Spring is such a glorious is when we can start to see the world as a cathedral of nature...oh, when the leaves first burst open, and the windflowers :) show their lovely faces, it just brings such joy, and hope to the heart. I love spring. Hey, and you have Thursday off from work, right?? That's a Vappu gift that also brings joy and hope to the heart! :) I hope you have a wonderful holiday, Waves, be well, Chris R.

Anonymous said...

ps---hey, I see in your profile that you like hattifatteners! I wonder, Waves, if you have ever seen any of the films of Hayao Miyazaki? He is a brilliant director/animator from Japan (he is known as The Walt Disney of Japan, though I greatly prefer Miyazaki)...he has a film named My Neighbor Totoro, that is about family and wood spirits, and love, and it is just is a film for children, but is still very lovely for adults. Another great film by him is Spirited Away, and this is such a brilliant can be enjoyed by children, but is a more adult film than Totoro...there are nature spirits in this as well, and love, and family, and just an entire film full of wonder. But I wasn't sure if you had heard of Miyazaki, but any person who likes hattifatteners very well could love Miyazaki. :) Chris

Vappu said...

The Espa vappu reminds me of being in late teens :) I much prefer private parties or hanging with my family, I really dislike huge crowds. But I think it's great to celebrate the budding spring, and anticipation of summer! So make it about what you want, I say.

The Waves said...

iztvan: you too!

Chris R.: yes, it does rhyme!

And yes, it is the public display of drunkenness that I have a problem with. If I only saw adults getting wasted on the street I could deal with it. Unfortunately it is not uncommon to see drunken parents in town, with children, or even worse, drunken children. The whole thing just makes me sad. I don't really understand the whole concept of getting drunk for the sake of getting drunk.

Hattifatteners are fantastic. I think you can figure out a fair bit about a person just on the basis of their favourite Moomin character. (I don't know what hattifatteners say about me though...) Funny you should mention Miyazaki. I am a big fan of Totoro, as well as Spirited Away. If I didn't know better, I would think that you know me / know who I am.

unicorns have whiskers: absolutely. I don't mind if other people go and get wasted in the centre of town, it is just not my cup of tea. A lot of my friends love the "traditional" way of celebrating vappu, and that is fine by me!

alice said...

I'm not too clued up about holidays, so I'm just going to say I really like the detail of your outfit (:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering my query Waves (about public drunkenness)...I understand and agree with your thoughts on the subject...I can't believe parents initiate their children into such bad habits...we have the same thing here, of course, with liquor, and cigarettes...and other things. A lot of adults don't want to act as adults, and it is indeed a very bad thing for those who depend on them.
And I have found a book of Moomin stories looked wonderful, so I will order it, if it's still available, and one day let you know who my own favorite character is---and I shall ask your favorite character, then, as well. :) Chris R.
ps---two favorite scenes from Totoro...when the little it May?...first finds the giant Totoro, and falls asleep on his chest. And the scenes where the Totoro opens its eyes, and looks at her, and his eyes grow wide, so wonderful. And probably my favorite scene....when the children are waiting at the bus stop, and Totoro comes up...and...well, the rest is just wonder (the cat bus, oy, how perfect). :)

Anonymous said...

Last comment, I promise. :) I promise too that,as you mentioned, I do not know you...I have just found your blog in the last month...but I think from what I have seen of you that you are a unique, sweet and amazing person...I love stopping here to see how you are doing in this world. :) Have a wonderful Saturday, and I hope you party is amazing. Be well, Chris R.

Anonymous said...

hi waves! i certainly agree with chris, you strike me as sweet and have the sensitivity of an artist,i enjoy reading your blog, like a window to i different world..
i myself am planning to start my own blog as soon as i get organized!
in the meantime,yours is such an inspiration.
take care,thanks!
lala from the philippines

Anonymous said...

See, Waves, everyone agrees!! :) CR