Finland: From the Bench Festival to the Hat Festival
High school students participate in the bench festival carnival.
[Global Times Special Correspondent in Finland Song Yanbo] If it weren’t for the epidemic, on a Thursday in mid-to-late February every year, you would see dozens or even hundreds of fancy trucks full of young people in strange costumes slowly passing by on the streets of Finland. , Various candies rained down on pedestrians accompanied by music, cheers and screams. This is the big kids who just finished high school celebrating the "Bench Festival", a crazy party before sprinting for the graduation exam. Due to the epidemic this year, only a small number of schools celebrated in the school.
Celebrate no longer having to walk into high school class
Finnish high school courses are all finished in mid-February of the final academic year. After that, students will go home to review their homework for the March graduation exam, which is also the university entrance qualification exam. Test scores are an important reference for college admissions, and therefore extremely important. Despite the big exam hanging over their heads, the students can’t wait to celebrate the successful end of their high school career in a high-profile manner-they never have to step into the high school class anymore!
On the second day after the end of all high school courses, the Bench Festival will begin immediately. In the morning, prospective graduates will go to the lower grades of the school to "troubleshoot", sprinkle sugar on the younger students, interrupt the teacher's lecture, imitate the teacher, and then come to a funny class, while making the younger students happy. It also seems to be declaring: We are not under the control of the teacher! These students usually also hold a series of exhibition activities in the school. The most common is to show their own short films in the auditorium. The main content is mostly funny imitations of teachers or ridicules of some problems in the school, or humorous. Way to look back on your high school career. No matter how you look at this kind of bold behavior, there is a feeling of "finally getting out of it".
At noon, the high school students dressed up according to their pre-discussed themes, and boarded the decorated trucks to cruise the city center. In the parade, game characters, animal figures, sailors, and aliens are all different; cheerful wind, funny wind, dark wind, and casual wind, with different styles; coupled with various genres of music, it is so lively. Finally, the Finnish students who are looking forward to the Bench Festival will change from the low-key and reserved in the past, swinging, cheering, singing on the truck, throwing candy at the crowd from time to time, and sharing the happiness and excitement with people. The trucks from all schools marched together, secretly there was a little bit of competition. In addition to various costumes, the propaganda posters with pictures and texts around the truck are particularly eye-catching. Most propaganda posters introduce one's school, express the feelings of three years of high school, or express views on current social events.
Upgraded to Carnival after World War II
The history of the bench festival is almost as long as the Finnish high school graduation exam. Until the early 20th century, all Finnish students who completed high school had to go to Helsinki to take the graduation exam, which was also the entrance exam for the University of Helsinki. Before departure, candidates and relatives and friends will usually celebrate, which is not only a celebration, but also a farewell and blessing. This is the origin of the bench festival. The students from Helsinki at the time also wanted to celebrate this special day by sitting on a horse-drawn sleigh. The end of a sleigh cruise is often a restaurant, where students are allowed to drink the first glass of wine in their lives, which is quite a rite of passage. After World War II, this ceremony gradually escalated into today's carnival.
On the next day of the bench festival, there was a sudden loss of 1/3 of students in high school, and the children in the second year of high school became the seniors of the highest grade. Of course, they also wanted to celebrate and announce it-holding a gorgeous "Elderly Dance Party"! The bench festival is on Thursday and the dance party is on Friday, so I can’t wait for a day.
The students solemnly put on formal gowns and skirts. The boys combed their hair and the girls put on make-up. They performed solemn and elegant waltz, foxtrot, tango, and folk dance. The mature appearance of the "elder" declares to himself to the teachers and parents: "I have grown up!". For this day, they have been serious and serious preparations for several months.
After the prom, these students will prepare to enter the third year of high school life with the pride and responsibility of "grow up", waiting for their own bench festival.
White hat is extremely informative
After the bench festival carnival, it was a few weeks of hard study. When the high school graduation exams are over, the students really usher in the moment they are eagerly looking forward to-wearing a white student hat that symbolizes graduation from high school. This white suede white hat with black trim and black narrow brim is very popular in Finland. In the eyes of educational Finns, people wearing white hats are worthy of respect and envy, because it not only means that they graduated from high school, but most of them have received a higher level of education. During the May Day, Finns like to wear white hats to participate in festivals, so May Day is also known as the "Hat Day".
The Finnish student hat is said to have originated in the middle of the 19th century during the rule of Tsarist Russia. This simple hat contains extremely rich information. The white hats awarded to students enrolled in science and engineering universities have long black tassels on them, which is the easiest difference to recognize. In addition is the golden cockade in the middle of the hat. From 1919 to the present, every high school graduate in Finland has been awarded the University of Helsinki's emblem-Apollo's Lyre on the graduation cap. This is to commemorate the special nature of the University of Helsinki in the country's higher education before the independence of Finland in 1917 Status and role.
The inner lining of the white hat is also particular: before, the color of the inner lining represented that the students came from different provinces; now most of the inner lining uses the blue and white colors representing the Finnish flag, but the Swedish-speaking students usually use red and yellow or There are three colors of blue, yellow and white, and students from a few provinces still insist on using the unique colors that represent their own provinces as the lining for their white hats.