The sound of ice crackling when it melts in the spring sun, the hopeful light green that bursts forth in sprouts and swallows twirling against the bright blue sky. Spring is the most versatile of the four seasons in Finland: for example, in late April in Helsinki you can sit on the terrace of a beautiful café and enjoy the sun beams and people swirling by in their spring jackets. Meanwhile in Lapland the tempting slopes are alluring the skiers and the temperature is just perfect (a bit below zero). As the warm sunrays caress your cheekbones you can’t help but smile, big time.
And, spring isn’t spring without its celebrations. First there’s Easter and then May Day (or Vappu, as we Finns call it). As the days get longer and brighter, it’s time to celebrate the new season, life and summer that is just a hop and a skip away (well, almost). Celebrate your 1st of May like a local in Helsinki: take some serpentine, plastic cups, sparkling wine or sweet mead (in Finnish: sima) with you and head to Ullanlinnanmäki in Kaivopuisto. There – with thousands of others – you can toast to spring and enjoy the joyous bustle. You’ll encounter a sea of white hats: many Finns wear their high-school graduation cap on this particular day. Many have brought their picnic blankets or pavilions (yes) with them and spend the entire day in Kaivari. Others visit the May Day market by the harbor and head for a spring-like May Day lunch. And, if you feel cold in the crisp breeze, don’t worry, everyone else is freezing a little bit as well, it’s part of the experience.
Calenderwise spring stretches from March to May: in Mach it’s good to pack your winter jacket with you. Late spring is the prime season for renting a cabin in the forest or by the water, setting fire to the fireplace, listening to birds singing and enjoying the slow life and the purifying silence.