Of Witches and Weather, Vålborg

Spring doesn’t seem to actually exist in Sweden, if the past few weeks are anything to go by. A day of sun, followed by snow and sleet, and then another day of clouds and a next day of cold. But today promises to be the start of something better. 1 May is Walpurgis Day celebrated in the Germanic countries in commemoration of St Walpurga.

It’s believed to be a day when witches gather and people light bonfires (to burn the witches and celebrate the proper arrival of Spring with drinks, music and dancing.

There’s even a whole concert performance of the night.

Honestly that’s all I manage to make out. The biggest celebration takes place in Uppsala, it seems like a full blown party over in that city.

And as I’ve come to learn in Sweden, it’s not the why that matters as much as the how. So inspired by soaking in the how, I explored a couple of Walpurgis Celebrations. Check out the pictures here.

A carnival-like atmosphere pervades the Valborg celebration at Hammarby

Children play around a pile of wood waiting before the fire gets lit.

Parents accompany their children on pony rides into the hills around Hammarby.

Over at Gamla Stan, a fire procession begins from Stortorget towards the Evert Taube Square.

Candles light up amidst the sea of humanity and the setting sun.

Revelers climb to higher great to get a better view of the bonfire from a higher vantage point.

A father holds his son on his shoulders to watch the bonfire.

A view of the crowd at Gamla Stan.

Happy Valborg everyone!

 

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