Jazzfest?? Naah – just FEST…

Havis Amanda by Ville Vallgren
Havis Amanda is a sculpture by Ville Vallgren, constructed in Paris 1906 and put in place near the Market Square in Helsinki in 1908. Vallgren stated that the maiden rising out of the Baltic symbolises the birth of Helsinki. Another symbol may be found in the Swedish flag that can be seen in the background. The flag is flown from the Swedish embassy just a “stone-throw” away. Each year, as part of the student celebrations – Amanda gets a new (student-) hat

Helsinki Finland is about 5200 miles east of New Orleans Louisiana, where Jazzfest is right now underway (April 26 – May 5 http://www.nojazzfest.com/). There are not really any similarities when compared to what goes on in this part of the world at the end of April. Traditionally in the Nordic countries there is a celebration of the arrival of spring. In Sweden for example there are bonfires and especially in the University town of Uppsala there are extensive student celebrations happening on the very last day of April. In Helsinki the celebrating is also extensive and especially so “student celebrations” – young and old.  The more yellow stains your white capped student hat has – the higher the status of the person wearing it is.


Helsinki Police departments Mounted  Detail.
Helsinki PD is ready for the crowds, it looked pretty troublefree to me though. Just in case I suppose.


Crowds gather to celbrate
Crowds gather for the traditional celebration of the arrival of spring in Helsinki Finland on the last day of April 2013.


Student orchestra on top of van.
Student orchestras are a big part of the celebration.


Tailgating band members in uniform.
The band is tailgating.


A few people in a skylift high up above the crowds.
These guys are getting a good view from up top.


Another picture of the big crowds attending the festivities.
Another picture of the big crowds attending the festivities.

Even the CHP (California Highway Patrol) had a unit at the ready in Helsinki on 4/30/2013.  It would seem like budget cuts are not one of the CHP’s concerns.

California Highway Patrol unit in Helsinki on 4/30/2013
California Highway Patrol unit in Helsinki on 4/30/2013