Wappu is the highlight of the academic year
The TUT campus transforms into a festival ground every year by mid-April. May Day - called Wappu in Finnish - celebrations culminate in dipping first-year students in Tammerkoski rapids.
Students get together to celebrate Wappu, the largest annual student event in Finland. The couple of weeks before 1 May are packed with events arranged by student guilds and clubs. The TUT campus is abuzz with barbecues, al fresco concerts and the sounds of games and singing. It is a time to unwind with friends.
The ability to relax is an essential skill in our hectic world - celebrating Wappu at TUT is one way to learn how to de-stress.
An indispensable part of local May Day celebrations is
the film Blues Brothers. Many know the lines by heart.
Releasing of the Wappu magazine Tamppi starts the fun
In Tampere, the festivities are officially set in motion with the release of the Wappu magazine Tamppi a few weeks before 1 May. Students collect jokes and pictures for Tamppi throughout the year and sell the magazine on the streets.
Another event that livens up the city centre is a picnic held on the banks of Tammerkoski rapids. The picnic is an opportunity to enjoy the spring, performances by the student choir Teekkarikuoro and improvisational theatre. Sunshine is guaranteed.
An indispensable part of local Wappu celebrations is Blues Brothers, which is shown on the big screen in the film theatre Cinola. A large number of students arrive at the theatre hours before the curtain goes up to chat with their friends while queuing. Others know to dress according to the theme and are thus allowed to jump the queue.
Students dipped in Tammerkoski rapids
Every Wappu, students from Tampere University of Technology place a student cap on the Maiden of Finland statue that stands on Tammerkoski bridge. The celebrations culminate in dipping first-year students in Tammerkoski rapids as a symbol of their full student status.
Freshmen make their way to the riverbank by marching through the city centre amid cheers and applause from a thousand onlookers.
To spread the festive sprit, students run their own radio show called Rakkauden Wappuradio. This year, the show goes on the air for the fourth time. It lasts for six days and is broadcast live from campus. The show is hosted by the student clubs.
Rakkauden Wappuradio is also available online.
Wappu traditions date back to the 1960s
- Most of the local Wappu customs that have survived to this day originated in the 1960s, when students started celebrating 1 May in Tampere.
- First-year students were dipped in Tammerkoski rapids for the first time in 1966.
- Students have placed a cap on the Maiden of Finland statue in Tampere city centre from 1966 onwards. For the first couple of years, students from Tampere University of Technology and the University of Tampere took turns capping the statue.
- The first issue of the Wappu magazine Tamppi was published in the 1970s.