- When is Walpurgis Night in 2019?
Walpurgis Night is a celebration that annually takes place between April 30 and May 1. Its origins date back to the pagan fertility rites and the coming of spring combined with the celebration of the Christian feast day of Saint Walpurga.
The Walpurgis Night is a renowned festival held annually between the end of April and the first day of May. It is a holiday named after St. Walburg and dates back to the pagan rites of fertility. However, in different countries around the world, there are various variants of this holiday.
When is Walpurgis Night?
Walpurgis Night or Walpurgisnacht will take place between April 30 and May 1. The celebrations of Walpurgis Night will begin on the evening of, 30 April, and end on the evening of, 1 May.
On which day is Walpurgis Night celebrated across Scandinavia and northern Europe?
Walpurgis Night is celebrated across Scandinavia and Northern Europe between April 30 and May 1. The celebrations for this day in Scandinavia and Northern Europe will start in the late Friday evening of 30 April and continue until the late Saturday evening of 1 May.
What is Walpurgis Night: The Meaning of Walpurgisnacht (Explained)
Walpurgis Night is an annual event held that takes place between the last day of April (April 30th) and the first day of May (May 1st). Its origins date back to the pagan fertility rites and the coming of spring. But with the Christianization of the Northern peoples of Europe, this holiday was combined with the commemoration of Walpurg or Saint Walpurga, which is a celebration held in honor of a nun.
What is Walpurgis Night History: Learning The Background of this Day
Walpurgis Night is an ancient festival celebrated on the night of April 30th, which is closely linked to the arrival of spring. Although the origins of the festival are shrouded in mystery, it is believed to have pagan and Christian roots.
The festival is named after Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century Christian missionary who was canonized on May 1st. It is believed that the night before her feast day, evil spirits and witches would gather on mountaintops to hold a wild and debauched celebration.
In pagan times, the festival was known as Beltane, and it marked the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. It was a time of great importance for many European cultures, as it signified the return of light and warmth after the long winter. Bonfires were lit to symbolize the sun, and young couples would jump over the flames for good luck and fertility.
With the spread of Christianity, the pagan festival was merged with the Christian celebration of Saint Walpurga’s feast day. The bonfires that once symbolized the sun were now used to ward off evil spirits and demons. It was believed that on this night, witches and other dark forces would roam the earth, and the fires would help to protect against their malevolent influence.
The legend of the Brocken Witches is a popular tale associated with Walpurgis Night. It is said that on this night, witches from all over the world would gather on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, to pay homage to the devil. The witches would fly through the air on broomsticks and dance around bonfires, making mischief and spreading chaos.
Today, Walpurgis Night is still widely celebrated across Germany, particularly in the Harz Mountains and Berlin. Bonfires, dancing, and costume parties are common traditions, and the festival represents the return of spring and the preservation of German folklore and tradition.
Q: What is the origin of the name “Walpurgis Night”?
A: The festival is named after Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century Christian missionary who was canonized on May 1st.
Q: Is Walpurgis Night a national holiday in Germany?
A: No, it is not a national holiday, but it is widely celebrated across the country.
Q: What is the significance of the bonfires on Walpurgis Night?
A: The bonfires are said to ward off evil spirits and signify the return of light and warmth after the long winter.
Q: Do people really believe in the legend of the Brocken Witches?
A: The legend is mostly seen as a fun and playful tradition, rather than a serious belief.
Walpurgis Night is a magical and enchanting festival that has captivated the hearts and minds of Germans for centuries. From the legend of the Brocken Witches to the celebrations of spring, this ancient holiday is steeped in folklore and tradition. While the origins of the festival may be shrouded in mystery, its enduring popularity is a testament to the enduring power of myth and storytelling. Whether
Scaring away the witches & Warding off Evil spirits
A popular Walpurgis Night tradition is warding off evil spirits by lighting bonfires and making loud noises. Since this night is said to be the ‘night of witches and spirits‘, huge bonfires with a witch figure are built and burnt in the night, mostly on top of hills. People gather around. Sudden dark and dense fumes are encouraged as “witches and spirits flying away.” A witch’s figure is also hung in a burning fire. This is a widespread festival, celebrated since the pagan era.
Since witches don’t like loud noises, so creating loud noises, ringing church bells, banging pots, and organizing fireworks are some other common traditions associated with Walpurgis Night.
People on this holiday may also hang spring foliage around their house for their luck. They leave bread covered with honey and butter outside their homes, so as to feed the spirits, who are supposed to travel from house to house.
Pilgrimages to Saint Walburga’s Tomb
For Catholics, the day is all about remembering the past events of Saint Walpurga, praying to God by the intercession of St Walpurg to guard them against witchcraft, and visiting her tomb in Eichstatt on the Feast of Walpurga’s Eve, often obtaining vials of the Oil of St. Walpurga (which is said to have flowed from her relics).
Performing Black Magic Rituals
Since the veil between this world and the world of spirits is thinnest on Walpurgis Night, black magicians consider this day the best time of the year to perform black magic rituals. They go out in the night and summon demons, they conduct massive orgies, witches, and wizards into the Revel and call out legions of demons in the wilderness.
Dancing, Dressing Up in Costumes, Playing Pranks
For many people, the Night of Walpurgis is just like the festival of Halloween, with trick-or-treating, dressing up in ghost costumes, playing pranks with friends, and dancing and singing for the celebration of spring.
It’s a time for family get-togethers, lighting the bonfires, engaging in choral singing, enjoying a breakfast of champagne and strawberries, drinking alcoholic beverages, barbecue, and enjoy the weather.
In some parts of the world, the day is celebrated as May Day, when people celebrate the revival of nature and welcome warm weather by engaging in different cultural entertainment activities.
Where is Walpurgis Night Celebrated: Countries that Observe this Festival The Most
Estonia – Walpurgis Night (known as Volbrioo) is observed in Estonia throughout the night of 30 April and into the morning of 1 May, where 1 May is a public holiday in the region called “Spring Day“.
Croatia – Walpurgis Night is observed in Croatia, with commemorations starting from the night of late April until the evening of the first day of May.
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Sweden – Walpurgis Night is a great popular festival in Sweden. Liting bonfires, letting farm animals out to graze, choral singing, and a speech to mark the arrival of the spring season by a local celebrity, are some famous customs associated with Walpurgis Night in Sweden.
Finland – Walpurgis Night is one of the four biggest holidays of the year in Finland. The day is called Vappu in Finland when the locals enjoy the biggest carnival-style festivals in cities and towns. Enjoying picnics and drinking alcoholic beverages are famous traditions of this day.
Czech Republic – Walpurgis Night is one of the most famous festivals on the Czech Republic calendar. The celebrations for this day start on 30 April and continue till May 1. Lighting of huge bonfires and burning the effigies of witches are common customs followed in the Czech Republic. However, the most unique practice followed here is searching for a cherry tree in blossom and kissing young women under the cherry tree. Thus, this day is also celebrated as the day of those in love.
Germany – Walpurgis Night in Germany, is known as Walpurgisnacht. On this day, people make pilgrimages to Saint Walpurga’s Tomb to obtain vials of Walpurga’s oil and seek protection against the witches and evil spirits.
Other countries with Walpurgis Night celebrations include the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Australia, Spain, Greece, Argentina, Norway, Poland, and Italy.
- The date of Walpurgis Night or Walpurgis Nacht is April 30 and May 1.
- Walpurgis Night also coincides with May Day, Loyalty Day in the USA, and May Morning in Oxford.
- Every year on Walpurgis Night, thousands of Catholics make a pilgrimage to Saint Walpurga’s tomb.
- Local variants of Walpurgis Night are observed across Europe in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Norway, Lithuania, Germany, Slovenia, Sweden, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland.
- In some countries, this day is celebrated as the day of love, when young couples kiss and hug under a cherry or apple tree.
- In some traditions, the celebrations of Walpurgis Night center on the consumption of alcoholic beverages, sima, and sparkling wine.
- Many of the customs associated with Walpurgis Night match with the festivity of Halloween.
- Some people leave bread covered with honey and butter outside their homes, or sometimes on terraces, so as to feed the spirits of the dead who travel from house to house.
- Black magicians perform rituals on this day to summon devils, offer them some sweet delicacies, and get their wishes fulfilled in return.
- Since evil spirits and witches hate fumes and loud noises, so many people light huge bonfires and make loud noises to repel evil spirits.