This year’s May Day celebrations will take place at the Kansalaistori Square – the Manta statue will return to the Market Square in August

Unlike in previous years, this spring’s May Day capping ceremony will be held at the Kansalaistori Square. The Havis Amanda statue, beloved by the people of Helsinki, is being restored, and Manta will not receive its cap at the Market Square this year. Students at Uniarts Helsinki are creating an installation for the capping ceremony, which will be revealed on May Day.
This year, Helsinki’s May Day Eve will be celebrated at the Kansalaistori Sqaure. Photo: Heimo Rättyä

One of Helsinki’s most beloved May Day traditions is the capping of the Havis Amanda statue. Due to the restoration of the Manta and the surrounding square, the capping ceremony will exceptionally take place at the Kansalaistori Square.  
This year, the event is organised by the University of the Arts Student Union.

Students are creating an installation for the capping ceremony at the Kansalaistori Square, which will be revealed on May Day. The capping ceremony will draw inspiration from Havis Amanda’s century-old history. The performers are students of Uniarts Helsinki from the fields of performance art, music and visual arts.

“The main character of our event, the original statue of Havis Amanda, will have a strong presence in the capping ceremony,” reveals Suvi Vendelin, the producer coordinating the Manta Crew of art students.  

Both the City of Helsinki and the students are encouraging residents to celebrate May Day in the new location. 

“I am eagerly looking forward to the art students’ programme at the Kansalaistori square on May Day Eve. As mayor, I warmly welcome everyone to join this year’s May Day capping ceremony!” says Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen.

“The Kansalaistori Square now allows us art students to put on a good May Day Eve show, and we hope that the public will find their way to the Kansalaistori Square to celebrate with us,” Vendelin continues.

Renovation of the Havis Amanda fountain square to be completed in August 

The renovation of the Havis Amanda fountain square.
The renovation of the Havis Amanda fountain square is currently underway. Photo: Helsingin kaupunki

The 115-year-old Havis Amanda sculpture, beloved by the people of Helsinki, will be restored and the fountain and its surroundings will be renovated. The cracks and holes in the bronze will be repaired and patinated. The bronze parts will also undergo a comprehensive surface conservation process. The restoration and conservation of the sculpture is carried out by HAM Helsinki Art Museum. 

The depressions on the surface of the square will be fixed, and the traditional pavement will be restored at the end of the project. The renovation will also include repairs to the fountain’s technology and piping. The excavation work will be carried out under the supervision of an archaeologist due to the possibility of ancient relics being discovered. The renovation of the square and the sculpture will be completed in August 2024.