It is a beautiful morning after Walpurgis Night!
Once again, we check in with our foreign correspondent an Kathy Palm. Thanks for taking time off from sun bathing to post for us, Kathy!!
Walpurgis Night, is held on the eve of April 30 going into May 1st in many countries in Europe.
While this is a common holiday in many northern and central European countries lets focus on Sweden’s version commonly know as Valborg, or technically known as Valborgsmässoafto. (Literally Walpurga mass eve).
This holiday celebration is generally accompanied with dancing and bonfires!
It also happens to be exactly six months from All Hallow’s Eve!!
This holiday goes all the way back to Viking fertility celebrations where the goal of the fire was to drive off evil spirits (witches, ghouls, those sorts of things). The vikings called this Walpurgisnacht (not very different from waht we call it now) and followed it with the Viking festival of Thrimilci on May 1st. They considered this the beginning of Summer. After the scary rituals and conquering of evil spirits it is time for Joy and fertility! (Not to mention time for the snow to melt in the North!)
So what’s the big deal about Walpurga? If you suffer from rabies, she is your patron saint!
Saint Walpurga (also spelled Walburga and even Valderburg), was an english missionary who’s “day” just happens to be May day. Her relics were transferred from her burial site in Heidenheim, Bavaria, to Eichstätt (also in Bavaria) on May 1st which is why Sweden (and Finland) celebrates when they do. She is the patroness of Eichstätt and several other cities in the area.
The beginning of May symbolizes a plethora things, including the need for bonfires to clear the air before real joy can begin! Now is the time to send out your livestock and let them feast on the fresh grass and enjoy that almost summer weather. So go outside and feast on May!
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you suffer from rabies?