Vappu Day observed peacefully amid festivity
02 May 2018, 00:45
The International Workers’ Day, widely known as May Day, commemorating the 1886 uprising of Chicago workers to establish their rights was observed in the country almost peacefully, excepting some sporadic incidents.
The celebrations of May Day, locally called Vappu Day, began on Monday evening through washing and crowning of the Havis Amanda statue in the capital, with around 80,000 people witnessing the ceremony.
But the main celebration and May Day rallies were held on Tuesday at different parts of the country.
People gathered in the parks and markets in different cities amidst a mixed weather of cloudy and sunny at different parts of the country on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, police said that the celebrations were peaceful across the country excepting an incident of stabbing and fight at Järvenpää, about 40km north of Helsinki late Monday night.
A youth was injured in the incident and taken to the hospital. Police identified the criminal but failed to arrest till Tuesday afternoon, National broadcaster Yle reported.
Few sporadic incidents of disorderly behavior were also reported at Pirkanmaa where incidents of assault as well as drunk driving took place, but no serious incident was reported during the celebration.
On Tuesday, a crowd gathered at Kaivo Park in the morning where as is the tradition, the YL Male Voice Choir performed. Besides Kaivopuisto, people converged at Senate Square, Citizen Square, and Hakaniemi Park.
People witnessed the May Day greetings from President Sauli Niinistö and First Lady Jenni Haukio.
Several processions were held in the capital city. For instance, the processions organised by the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) and the leftists garnered thousands of people.
International Workers’ Day marks the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when the 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.