Crazy Days in Helsinki

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The entrance of Stockmann in Helsinki. Thousands of people coming and going. Credit: Suomen Kuvalehti.

Today it started – “Hullut päivät”, The Crazy Days in Helsinki. The streets are filled with people carrying yellow plastic bags with ghost images and people ask you whether you have already been “there”. Some announce that they hate it and would never go there (even if most of them have been there many times and will keep on doing it).

All this started as a marketing trick of a big traditional Helsinki department store, Stockmann. The first Crazy Days was organised in 1986, and nowadays it’s held twice a year for 5 days.

The event works so well, because there’s a clever psychological catch. Normally, Stockmann is considered quite expensive and posh, so during these 5 days “anyone” has the chance to feel a bit special and buy products that would normally be too expensive.

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Typical Hullut päivät bags, Helsinki. Credit: Yle.

Today I worked from my dear home office day and stayed in pyjama till early afternoon. Despite this, I really was working quite hard… In the afternoon I had to get dressed and go to my boxing lesson. And after jumping around and kicking the sack for an hour, my boyfriend called – from Hullut Päivät. So there I went. I have some strange, perversive love with this event. I hate the rush and people pushing you around but there’s something mysterious that draws me to Crazy Days…

Balloons and stuff. Buying is so much fun...

Maybe it’s the tradition. I remember Hullut päivät from my childhood, all the typical sweets and products that they still sell – only during these five days. It’s a carnaval! People queuing at 7am for getting cheap flight to Peking, London, Mexico City… whatever happens to be in the offer. They really sell everything from food, electronics, books and clothes to cars, boats, jacuzzis and trips to China. New items are revealed every day, so you never know what you might be able to buy. Well, even if you read it all in the catalogue.

In the end we spent a couple of hours wandering and looking at things. My boyfriend bought three CDs and I tried to find some cosmetics. But I’m becoming more selective – or stronger perhaps, as in the end I noticed that I really didn’t need anything. Well, till we found a tomato plant that we definitely wanted for our home! Probably we’ll have to back to Crazy Days before Sunday, as in the end we got too tired and confused and forgot to buy the thing…

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5 thoughts on “Crazy Days in Helsinki

  1. alvaroarenas says:

    I was today wondering, how much in average a finnish family spends in Stockman during the Crazy Days.. At least we use the opportunity to get some half price meat 😀

    • annsofia says:

      Yep, that would be interesting to know! I know last autumn Hullut Päivät made its sales record. And now it’s even better for them with department stores (and also Hullut pivät) in San Petersburg etc…

  2. Msanhle says:

    That’s quite interesting to know the first Hullut Päivät was organized in 1986, pretty long time ago… I think it would be nice to see pictures of Hullut Päivät in those days 🙂

    • annsofia says:

      That’s true! It’s surprising how old the tradition is. I tried to look for some photos from those days, but couldn’t find any… would be interesting to see what has changed. Many things, I guess. 🙂

      • Msanhle says:

        would be really precious pictures if they ever exist 😀 And if you didn’t mention I would never realize the ghost image symbolizing Hullut Päivät :))

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