On April 30, it is once again time for the traditional celebration of Walpurgis Night to celebrate the arrival of spring. In Sweden, Walpurgis Night, is celebrated most intensively in the student cities Uppsala and Lund, but of course you can celebrate it in a great way in Stockholm as well.
The tradition of celebrating spring on the last day of April originally comes from Germany, and is based on the profane festival that has been celebrated there. Later, however, it has been paired with the Holy Valborg who was sanctified on May 1. By this sanctification her name became connected (Valborg also name day on to 1 May) with the spring festivals that the Germans used to keep this day and had stamped as witch communities. Above all, they thought that witches on the Walpurgis Night (i.e., between April 30 and May 1) rode on broomsticks or billy goats to the old places of sacrifice, and to destroy these nasty things they made noise and burned bonfires.
Today we no longer speak about protection against witches, the Walpurgis Night celebration has instead become a symbol of spring and light. We burn the old and make room for the new, which actually was the original purpose of the fires before people began to scare away witches. These fires are still lighted today and they are sometimes combined with fireworks and firecrackers. If you are lucky, you can also enjoy a choir singing classic spring songs in Swedish such as “Vintern rasat” and “Sköna maj”.
If you want to celebrate Walpurgis Night in Stockholm you have many options. Celebrations are organized all around the city. Here are a few of your options:
Experience a traditional Walpurgis Night celebration on the Solliden stage at Skansen. They have festive program divided into two parts, at 3-5 PM and 8-10 PM. Among other things, you will enjoy happy students marching in with flags, the traditional spring speech, people putting on their student’s caps, spring songs with Stockholm Student Singers and of course the lighting of the fire.
Here Walpurgis Night is celebrated for the 36th year in a row. At torchlight procession runs from Stortorget in the Old Town at 8.15 PM and you can listen to a spring speech.
Other alternatives in Stockholm:
- Bromma, Norra Ängby, kl 18.00
- Ekerö, Ekebyhovs slottspark, kl 18.00
- Lidingö, Killingeängen, kl 19.45
- Rinkeby, Rinkebydalen, kl 20.00
- Saltsjöbaden, kl 17.00
- Solna, Hagalund, kl 19.00
- Södra Hammarbyhamnen, Hammarbybacken, kl 19.00
- Danderyd, Svanholmsparken, Stocksund, kl 20.30
- Drottningholm, Götiska Tornet, kl 21.00
- Hägersten, Klubbensborg, kl 18.00
- Vinterviken, Vintervikens trädgård, 17.00
- Mälarhöjden, Mälarhöjdsbadet, 18.30
ViewStockholm.com wish you a wonderful Walpurgis Night celebration!