This year, the traditional spring festival of students, Flower Day (13 May), is celebrated at the heart of Helsinki, in Kaivopiha and Ylioppilasaukio Square. At that time, Kaivopiha will be transformed into the students' living room in the middle of the city centre.
Festivities begin at 4.30pm with speeches and songs. Akademiska Sångföreningen comes to sing Maamme anthem in the honour of its 165th anniversary. Other entertainment includes four bands consisting of students, as well as a number of organisations presenting their activities and arranging fun checkpoints at Kaivopiha and Ylioppilasaukio Square.
Cultural tours organised every half hour start at 5pm, where you can tour the New Student House and the surrounding premises which cannot otherwise be directly accessed. On the tours, you can hear funny stories and details about the New and the Old Student Houses. Celebration continues at Kaivopiha until 8pm.
The spring festival of university students was already celebrated in the times of the Academy of Turku. When the University was transferred to Helsinki, it was decided that the spring festival tradition would be revived in the 1830s and Kumtähti Field in Toukola was established as the celebration place.
The celebration in 1848 was exceptional and far-reaching in many respects compared with the earlier celebrations. In this celebration, Maamme song, which had reached the position of the national anthem, was sung for the first time. J. L. Runeberg and Fredrik Pacius had specifically written the song for the occasion. Another national symbol, the Finnish flag with the lion pattern, was used for the first time and it later became the flag of the Student Union. The spring festival of the year 1848 became a special day in the origins of the national identity. Since then, Flower Day has been celebrated with the varying degrees of activity.
HYY's Specialist-Producer (culture) Pipsa Penttinen, pipsa.penttinen(at)hyy.fi, 050-5372831