May Day celebrations begin across country
30 Apr 2018, 23:03 ( 19 days ago) | updated: 01 May 2018, 20:18 ( 19 days ago)
The celebration of International Workers’ Day, widely known as May Day, began in the country as elsewhere around the world commemorating the 1886 uprising of Chicago workers for establishing their rights.
The programmes marking the May Day, locally called Vappu Day, began on Monday evening through washing and crowning of the Havis Amanda statue in the capital, with around 60,000 people witnessing the ceremony.
Celebrations of the May Day eve started from 5 pm and caused cut of traffic on the streets at the city centre. The people gathered to see the statue of Havis Amanda crowned with a graduation cap.
On May 1, the traditional parade of May Day will be organized by country's largest labour union SAK, which will start at 10 am from Hakaniemi Square and move around the city centre and the senate Square near.
The traffic movement will be disrupted and the police advised people to avoid travelling with a car in the city from 5 pm on Monday to 12 noon on Tuesday.
Helsinki Police decided to beef up security measures during the celebration of Vappu.
President Sauli Niinistö and his spouse Jenni Haukio will receive traditional May Day greetings today.
Similar programmes were organised across the country.
The crowning of the statue has been being done with official permission since 1951 and before that it was done without a permit.
International Workers’ Day marks the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for their legitimate rights, including an eight-hour working day. The firing resulted in the deaths of several demonstrators and police officers.
May 1 was adopted as International Workers’ Day by socialist delegates in Paris in 1889. More than 400 delegates met in Paris on the centenary of the French revolution at the Marxist International Socialist Congress, the founding meeting of the Second International.
The 1889 resolution called for a one-time demonstration but it became an annual event in the course of time. May Day was celebrated in Russia, Brazil and Ireland first in 1891.
The day is a public holiday in most countries.
Meanwhile, due to May Day celebrations, there will be alterations in both long-distance and commuter services. Timetables and tickets for 30 April and 1 May can be found most conveniently from the Online Shop or the timetable search, said railway operator VR.
On May Day, Tuesday, May 1, trains will mainly run to a Sunday timetable.