Monday, April 30, 2012

Walpurgis Night

This May-eve shares many traditions with Halloween and is actually directly opposite Halloween on the calendar. Named after the English missionary Walburga whose canonization happened on May 1st, the eve of May Day became known as Walpurgis night.

Poetry book by Johann Friedrich Loewen

Vikings would light huge bonfires in hopes of scaring away evil spirits and ensure early Spring weather to help their crops. Aromatic herbs were also burned in order to fumigate rooms that had been shut up during the winter months.

Celebrations still include bonfires and dancing...

Its pagan roots were a celebration of a wedding between two German gods Wotan and Freya which marked the end of winter. It was also said that it was the last chance witches had to stir up trouble before Spring reawakened the land. Here is a good book if you feel like getting festive...

In German folklore witches would meet at Brocken mountain which is the highest of the Harz mountains. This peak is noted for the Brocken Spectre which we think only made the night a little more magical....

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