Saturday, April 26, 2014

W is for . . .

Image courtesy: Michael Panse

Walpurgisnacht, which occurs on April 30 and sometimes spills over into May 1 depending on which country you are in. It's set exactly six months from Halloween and celebrates the beginning of spring.

The name comes from Saint Walpurgis (a female), who was canonized on May 1. Several european countries celebrate this holiday, but in different ways. Most celebrations involve eating, drinking, and bonfires. In the Czech Republic, they burn rag and straw witches in their fires. In Germany, the witches are supposed to meet their gods on Brocken mountain and party. In Finland, it's one of the four major annual holidays, celebrated with drinking sima, mead, and eating funnel cakes.

I heard about Walpurgisnacht while reading Raymond E. Feist's novel Faerie Tale.

Here in Rochester, we celebrate this time of year by (hopefully) putting away our winter coats and hiring a lawn service to roll the yard.

Have you heard of this holiday? Have any spring traditions other than cleaning your house and yard?


  1. I've never heard of this holiday. It sure is interesting, though!

  2. I've heard about it and you reminded me of it.

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