angle-left At Finland’s high schools, wild winter party precedes study break

At Finland’s high schools, wild winter party precedes study break

Photo: Laura Vanzo/Visit Tampere

What would you think if, in your hometown, a caravan of dozens upon dozens of open-bed trucks drove slowly past, each full of teenage students, many of them in costume, making noise and throwing handfuls of candy to the gawking spectators on the roadside?

That’s what happens each year in Finnish towns on a Thursday in mid-February, when students in their third and final year of upper secondary school (high school), conclude their last courses and begin a study break before their final exams. The break lasts four to six weeks, depending on what subjects they are taking. But prior to studying, they party. The adjective generally used to describe the event is “carnival-like.”

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