‘Laskiainen‘, Finnish for Shrove Tuesday, is a celebration traditionally held in February, and celebrated especially by students. This year Shrove Tuesday falls on Tuesday, February 9th. In previous times, laskiainen was the last celebration before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, but nowadays it mainly means a day of sleigh-riding. Laskiainen is not a public holiday, however, so you’ll still have lectures!
During the day traditional Finnish Shrove Tuesday dishes, pea soup and Shrove Tuesday buns, are offered also at UniCafes. The Shrove Tuesday bun, or ‘laskiaispulla‘ in Finnish, is a special type of bun made just for this occasion by filling a traditional Finnish bun with whipped cream and either raspberry jam or almond paste. Both types of filling have their avid supporters, and the nation remains divided about which of them is the best. We recommend you to try both, and decide for yourself!
On laskiainen you should find something that passes for a sled (if nothing else, even a plastic bag will do), and head on over to Kaivopuisto. Students from all over are showing up for an action-packed afternoon outdoors – so why not you as well? It’s common in Helsinki for students to wear their student overalls on Shrove Tuesday, but if you don’t have any, don’t worry, and just wear something warm.
The most ambitious take part in the legendary downhill race, where teams pilot their DIY sleds down the Ullanlinnanmäki hillside in the hope of winning the grand prize! They are judged not only on their run’s distance, but on creativity and showmanship as well. Past contenders include a sauna on a sled, and a sled going uphill instead of downhill. The hill is of course also open for casual sledders. The sledding begins in the afternoon. For more information check out the Facebook-event Laskiaisrieha.
On the Shrove Tuesday evening there are many student parties around the city. The parties are open to all students, and the ticket sales have begun on campus areas. It’s also possible to buy tickets at the door, if there is room in the part. For more information, check on Facebook Laskuhumala, Gravitaatio and Humanisticumin Mardi Gras -after ski, e.g.
Join us for a memorable day of fun and experience Finnish laskiainen: Grab a sled, dress warm, eat pea soup and laskiaispulla!