Pint and burger: A short guide to May Day in Finland

A blog text in english again and as always, I’m sorry for broken english. I’m doing this because I want to learn.

This time I’m talking about May Day in Finland. As local people knows, this festival is bigger than independence day, New Year eve or almost any other holiday. Of course different people feels differently about these celebrations (damn it’s difficult to know if these are festival, celebration, holiday… — but you know what I mean.. I hope), I know several people who don’t celebrate May Day at all. Actually in my neighbourhood people are doing really show boat style yard work at May Day eve, when it’s habit to be blind drunk. It’s kind of ”I’m good person, I’m not drunk”-show I guess.

My American friends are almost silent about May Day, I guess it’s because of it’s considered as a communist festival. Don’t worry, nowadays it’s mostly a) a student festival b) a drunk people festival c) little workmen festival.

If you are not a Finn and want to take a part May Day eve, you should either be very open minded or avoid public places. Most Finn’s are acting like zombies and it can be scary. It would be nice to say ”don’t worry, they do no harm”, but that’s not always true. Don’t be over afraid though, it’s like any festival, things will happen, but if you are street smart, you can avoid fights and things in that nature.

At May Day you should go and have champagne and pic nic or May Day lunch/brunch. Working class marches are optional. These habits have never been important for me. There was a time, when my son’s godfather was still alive and we alway had a May Day lunch with his family. Those were fun and full with drinks, I ended up to drink more than actual May Day eve at most years.

Here are my family May Days this year:

Other family members: May Day in Helsinki. In my opinion, the best way to spend this festival, if you are in to great parties and crowd and mayhem.

Weather was stormy and rainy at May Day eve and nice sunny at May Day. Streets were crowded and all kind of happenings were everywhere.

— If you are graduated from high school, you got that tacky cap..

Me: I was in Lahti, at home with couple of beers and dog. I put Friends on from Netlix and let it roll through the night also.. I slept in couch and woke up couple of times and saw little Friends. Excellent! I was at Lahti city centre (well… ok, central Lahti) in Teerenpeli and had couple beers there. The tactic was divide my May Day beer portion in several sets, 2 pints at the time. The ultimate goal was to not have a hangover. I managed with that quite well.

Teerenpeli was almost empty at noon.

Cold weather was reason why Lahti was at afternoon almost a ghost town. I walked to ”downtown” and back and saw about 5 people.. rain, snow.. May Day was better here too.

This picture is actual May Day eve picture… I can’t remember when it would have been so cold this time of year.

A few words about beers: I knew that I would drank little more than usual, so I opted for Pale Ale type beer, you know, easy to drink, not so much malt that it would upset stomach. Couple UK ales there too. The set was collection of my favourite beers, but I have to say that it was little boring to drink. All too familiar, nothing surprising there. And friends.. as good show it is, I don’t want to spend another May Day like this.. this was an experiment. Family got back at May Day and I put the grill on and had couple more beers.. this was actually much better day. I’m old, I know.