Walpurgis Night of songs and bonfires

Bonfire at night Credit: Min An, Pexels

Sweden kicks off for spring with a traditional night of songs and bonfires on April 30.

Walpurgis Night, “Valborg”in Swedish, is the last day of April, spent in celebration of spring and community spirit.

Dating back to the Middle Ages, it was initially the Germans who brought the festive tradition to Sweden, in honour of the 8th century German saint, Walpurgis. In medieval times, April 30 marked the end of the administrative year; local merchants and craftsmen celebrated by dancing and singing in anticipation of spring.

It was also a significant day for peasants and farmers, who attended the annual village meeting, letting their animals run free while they enjoyed eggs and schnapps with friends and family. During this time, bonfires became the centre of the festivity, lit up to scare away predators

Today, the Walpurgis Night is spent in unifying choral singing by bonfires as people get together to feel the warmth of the upcoming season.

Many Swedish high school students also use the day to celebrate their nearing graduation, while higher students dress in authentic student caps, white with a black peak, and sing to welcome a bright future.

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Written by

Anna Akopyan

Originally from Moscow, with Russian and Armenian origins, Anna has lived in Costa Blanca for over ten years. She is passionate about singing, acting and traveling.