Finnish for busy people

Korona ja Vappu – COVID-19 and Finnish May Day

Vappu is the Finnish name for the 1st of May. It’s usually a pretty big deal in Finland. Normally, people gather in large number in city centers all around the country. Now that we’re dealing with COVID-19, Finnish May Day will be different. Vappu can’t be celebrated the same way as in other years. Here are some phrases about vappu in the year of quarantine!

Finnish English
Torille ei saa kokoontua. One can’t meet on the city square.
Vappua juhlitaan kotona. Vappu is celebrated at home.
Vappu on peruttu. Vappu has been canceled.
Vietetään vappua kotona! Let’s celebrate Vappu at home!
Vietetään etävappua! Let’s celebrate remote Vappu!
Ollaan etäyhteydessä! Let’s be in remote contact!
Poliisi on huolissaan vapusta. The police is worried about Vappu.
Poliisi voi sulkea puistoja. The police can close parks.
Poliisi valvoo kokoontumisia. The police monitors gatherings.
Poliisi hajottaa väkijoukkoja. The police disperses the crowds.
Fyysinen etäisyys pitää säilyttää. Physical distance must be maintained.
Kaupunki tarjoaa virtuaaliviihdykettä. The city offers virtual entertainment.
Käytä hashtagia #virtuaalivappu! Use the hashtag #virtuaalivappu!
Yli 10 hengen kokoontumiset on kielletty. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
Helsingissä järjestetään virtuaalikonserttia. In Helsinki they organize a virtual concert.
Konserttiin voi osallistua kotisohvalta. You can attend the concert from your couch.
Vapun herkkuja voi tilata kotiovelle. You can order vappu delicacies to your home.
Ilmapalloja voi ostaa ruokakaupoista. Balloons can be bought from grocery stores.
Tee munkit itse! Make your own donuts!
Juodaan itsetehtyä simaa! Let’s drink home-made mead!
Juodaan samppanjaa kotona! Let’s drink champagne at home!


Read more in Finnish about this exceptional May Day in Finland:


That’s all for this short article about COVID-19 and Finnish May Day. Hauskaa vappua kaikille!

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Is Vappu related to Valborg that is celebrated in Sweden? The latter is, however, celebrated on 30th April.

Inge (admin)

Oh, that seems unusual, that Sweden is celebrating things a day “early” compared to other May Day celebrations. Finnish Vappu originates from Saint Walpurga , and I think Swedish Valborg does so, too. On the 1st of May the Saint’s remains were moved to a church.


I just found our comments from last year! So 30th April is called in Swedish valborgsmässoafton, which means the same as vappuaatto in Finnish. It’s just Vappu’s eve, the day before. It seems that in Sweden the main celebrations are on that day but I think in Finland there are also some celebrations on vappuaatto, especialy among students at universities.

Hyvää vappua!

Inge (admin)

Hyvää vappua! 🙂