On the upcoming May Day’s Eve (vappu), Havis Amanda (Manta) will receive the student cap on her curls virtually because of the raging coronavirus pandemic.

Havis Amanda, the mermaid-like figure of a young maiden sculpted by artist Ville Vallgren in 1908, standing at the Market Square in Helsinki, will this year be crowned virtually. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

According to the University of the Arts Student Union ArtSU, the union responsible for the traditional crowning of the statue this year, they “want to bring joy to everyone’s vappu celebrations by organizing it in an alternative way, allowing everyone to follow it safely from their homes.”

The event can be viewed, for example, on the webpages of the City of Helsinki. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 17:45 on April 30.

“My hope is that, like always, the crowning of Manta could mark the beginning of vappu, while also bringing joy to the vappu at-home celebrations,” says Mayor Jan Vapaavuori of Helsinki in a statement.

According to Sofia Charifi, the chairperson of ArtSU, they “would like to remind everyone that it is still not safe to assemble, and in exceptional circumstances, we must approach even the dearest traditions from a different perspective.” “We hope that instead of flocking to the city center or Ullanlinnanmäki, everybody would watch the ceremony and toast their glasses in their homes.”