Sitz parties are in short an academic table party. The habit has arrived from Sweden, and reminds a little of a Swedish crab feast, but over the years has taken a bit different shape at each university town. Sitzing or taking part in a sitz party includes singing, toasting, dressing up according to a theme, eating and of course an after party.
A sitz party normally has a toastmaster or several toastmasters who run the event, determine the breaks and decide the order of dining. The word of the toastmasters must be respected during the sitz party in order to get festivities done on time and without a fuss.
Singing plays a large part at sitz parties. Teekkari, as well as the Kylteri sitz parties have their own traditions songs, but a number of the songs are familiar to both of them. Teekkari sitz parties in Lappeenranta traditionally begin with Krokotiili Genan syntymäpäivälaulu (birthday song of crocodile Gena) and kylteri sitz parties in turn with the Swedish drinking song Helan går. Traditionally the teekkari sitz parties in Lappeenranta end with the song Ikuisen teekkaarin laulu (Ode to an eternal teekkari) and the Karelian provincial song Karjalaisten laulu. In almost all songs there are extra verses with lyrics made by the students, singing of which is equally important part of the sitz traditions. During the singing people may also play around, get standing on their chairs, go under the table or start drumming the table depending on the song. Singing does not have to be limited to the songs found in the singing booklet or the student unions song book PunaMusta, as the composing and writing lyrics to new songs is more than desirable.
Programs or proggikset are part of especially kylteri sitz parties. In them a group of people, for example visitors from a certain town, are called to the stage by shouting in Swedish “Vi vill ha xxxx på bordet oh oh ooh, Vi vill ha xxxx på bordet…” The program can be anything from singing to dancing to competitions. And on kylteri sitz parties especially there is a habit of giving punishments for badly behaving participants.
The sitz party is usually followed by an after party including more parting, drinking, chatting and singing.