I'm going to skip the traditional Ullanlinnanmäki picnic.
May 1st is the Labour Day and also a major student festival in Finland. For about 25 years, I've had the tradition that in the morning, I put on my student hat (if I ever took it off after midnight when its permissible wearing season starts) and head for Kaivopuisto park in southern Helsinki for a picnic. For a long time, it's been a family tradition for us and a few of our friends: we pushed baby carriages up the hill, tried to find a suitable spot, spread out an eloquently prepared breakfast, and enjoyed it with about 30 000 other picnic breakfasters.
But not any more. I don't like to leave trash out in nature, or in public parks. All these years, we have always collected any garbage that our breakfast produces and taken it with us - with the exception of the champagne bottle caps, because once you pop that off, it flies up and hits someone else's head. We've in turn collected the caps that hit our heads. But it seems that many if not most people in Ullanlinnanmäki simply leave their trash on the spot, and it looks horrible. There are literally tons of waste in the park.
Call me old or middle-aged or lame or anything, but I don't want to participate in this promiscuous littering of food wrappers, cans, bottles, everything. There are also a lot of drunken people, although everyone is in a good mood so it's not really inconvenient at all. So, the rush of people may be a factor, but mainly I'm irritated by the littering, and I no longer want to participate in the event at all, because even if I'm taking my own garbage away and even helping a little with what the others leave behind, I'm an accomplice in an event that is becoming outrageous.
We'll maybe take a picnic in the park of Aurora Karamzin's manor in Träskända, instead. It has a fine lawn and ancient oak-trees; it used to be the countryside hideout of the richest woman in Russian empire, but now it is the suburban area where we live, and people who go about here for a picnic are not leaving trash. They take it with them. Like we do.