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Tenerife, Cadiz, Venice... let’s go to the carnival!

Europe’s most popular carnivals are a great excuse to get away in February. Where do you fancy going? Cadiz, Tenerife, Venice, Basel...

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The best carnivals in Europe

Costumes, parades, music and colour are at the heart of all carnivals, but every city has its owns customs and traditions. Today we would like to invite you to travel and discover what the carnival is like across Europe.

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Things to do in London this summer

Don't you think major cities are a good place to spend the summer? Get that idea out of your head. Cosmopolitan cities actually offer plenty of events and activities to enjoy at this time of year. Discover, for instance, summer in London...

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By Marc and Jordi from www.barcelonahelsinki.blogspot.com

Vappu is a traditional festival held on 1 May in Finland – and it’s a day of celebration! It’s also the time when the people of Finland leave the long and harsh winter behind and enthusiastically welcome spring, longer hours of daylight, and their beloved green fields and forests.

But the festival is much more than just that day – it starts the day before, on 30 April. Traditionally, students always take part in this spring festival too by turning it into a very popular carnival (kevään karnevaali, or spring carnival). A usually calm and reserved country fills with people dressing up as different creatures, with drinks in their hands, sharing them with everyone. And the party lasts until the early hours of the morning!

One of the main events, and one of the most crowded and important, takes place on 30 April, around 6 pm, round the statue of Havis Amanda (which symbolises the city of Helsinki emerging from the sea), situated at the entrance to the Esplanadi park and Kauppatori (market square), in the port, in front of the City Hall. A large crowd of students wearing overalls of different colours, representing those of their faculties, wash Havis Amanda and place a large cap on her head.

The cap is the same one that all the students, ylioppislakki, wear when they graduate. They must keep it safe always, because they only get one. Some people even say that it must never be washed. Vappu is one of the times when people of all ages wear their graduation caps.

Vappu is, therefore, a national holiday, when people take to the streets all over the country, where there is music, demonstrations, different celebrations, etc. On 1 May in Helsinki, family and friends get together to have picnics and brunch all over the city, but especially in the Ullanlinnanmäki and Kaivopuisto parks, in the southern part of the city, next to the Baltic Sea.

The typical specialities of Vappu are tippaleipä, a kind of fritter, served with a type of mead, sima. Another tasty speciality is munkki, a kind of doughnut.

Perfect plan to go with friends! Check our flights and sign up!


By Marc and Jordi from www.barcelonahelsinki.blogspot.com

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