Student Union of the University of Helsinki: The 150-year-old Student Union celebrated at the Crowning of Havis Amanda


Manta will be crowned at the Market Square in Helsinki on May Day Eve. The annual event attracts around 50 000-80 000 people to the Market Square. This year’s crowning has been expanded into a two-hour public event to mark HYY’s 150th Anniversary.

‘This year, the Crowning of Manta is reformed in many ways. The event will have a larger supplementary programme than before – our aim has been to turn the occasion into a joyful public event that is not limited just to the moment of crowning. This new kind of event celebrates our Student Union’s 150th Anniversary’, Vice Chair Krista Laitila from the Board of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki explains.

On previous May Days, Manta has generally been crowned by members of the student unions’ boards. This year, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) is making an exception to this, as the crowning will be conducted by a volunteer team called the Manta Crew. The Manta Crew consists of 11 students of the University of Helsinki and members of the Student Union, selected for their task through an open application process.

Manta will receive her cap in a public event that is open to everyone at 6 pm on May Day Eve, 30 April.

Live music and glitter

‘The Crowning of Manta features live music, balloons, magic and glitter’, Manta Crew’s project manager, Jyrki Rantanen, describes.

The programme at the Market Square in Helsinki begins already at 4 pm. Glitternisti, known for its makeup art, will be there creating glitter makeup and tattoos on the audience’s faces, while a DJ will be providing the entertainment from 4.30 pm onwards. At around 5 pm, you can look forward to a magician’s performance and some May Day exercises.

The traditional washing of Havis Amanda begins at 5.15 pm.

Live band Get Me will start playing at 5.30 pm, raising the festive mood towards its climax. Manta will receive its cap at 6 pm. According to tradition, everyone else in Finland will only be allowed to put their student caps on after her.

‘After the crowning, we will get to enjoy an additional helping of live music from Get Me, accompanying people naturally towards their own May Day activities’, Rantanen states.

Crowning is part of the HYY150 Anniversary year

Havis Amanda has been crowned on May Day for over 50 years. The Crowning of Manta is a task of honour, with the student unions of the Capital Region alternating in charge of it. HYY last crowned the statue in 2014.

‘Our Student Union’s 150th Anniversary year features many events of which the Crowning of Manta is one of the biggest. An example of the other events is the Grand Sitsit that will take over the Senate Square on 24 May, gathering the higher education students of the Capital Region to enjoy an academic dinner party’, Krista Laitila from HYY says.

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki was founded in 1868 and has around 27,000 members. All students of the University of Helsinki who are completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree are members of the Student Union. It is the largest student union in Finland and has around 250 organisations operating under it.

Representatives of the media are welcome to follow the Crowning of Manta and other events of our Anniversary year. Because of the arrangements of the Crowning of Manta, we hope that you will contact HYY’s producer, Arttu Lehtinen, in advance, by Thursday 26 May, regarding any requests for interviews.


Market Square, Helsinki, 30 April 2018

4 pm Glitternisti begins
4.30 pm DJ
5.00 pm-5.15 pm Magician, May Day exercises
5.15 pm Washing of Manta
5.30 pm Live band Get Me
6.00 pm Crowning of Manta
6 pm onwards Live music after the crowning

NOTE! The programme may be revised or changed. Please check the latest programme from the Facebook event for the Crowning of Manta (link below).


Website of the 150 Anniversary year (Student Union of the University of Helsinki)

Website of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki:

Facebook event for the Crowning of Havis Amanda 2018:

Instagram account for the Crowning of Havis Amanda 2018:



Arttu Lehtinen
Student Union of the University of Helsinki
050 537 2831


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Helsingin yliopiston ylioppilaskunta (HYY)
Mannerheimintie 5 A-B