Festive fires of Walpurgis Night

Published on 

Festive fires of Walpurgis Night

The most pagan festival in Europe dates back to the Viking era and celebrates spring in a night lit by a thousand fires.

On Walpurgis Night, pagan deities meet on earth to end winter. Since the time of the Vikings and of ancient Germany, we have celebrated the return of spring in spite of the opposition of the Church, which pursued its witch hunts. From Goethes Faust to Mendelssohn's Die Erste Walpurgisnacht opus 60, we dance at this festival.

Walpurgis Night is particularly important in Sweden where students get rid of their old winter cap and replace it with the white cap of the graduate, a symbol of approaching liberty. Many bonfires light up parks in Stockholm and Skansen, the latter a historic open-air museum on the island of Djurgården where you will take part in this festival of singing and dancing. Many parades and festivals take place on 1 May. King Carl XVI Gustaf also celebrates his birthday on the day of Walpurgis.

30 April to 1 May 2016

www.visitsweden.com