Walpurgisnacht in Germany


April 30, the night of the witches and evil spirits – Walpurgisnacht.

The Walpurgisnacht or Walpurgis Night is an ancient celebration that is still alive in Germany. It was celebrated in many other European countries such as Finland, Sweden, England or Latvia.
People come together to celebrate the end of winter and the begin of spring.

What does the name mean?
The name Walpurgisnacht comes from Walburga (or Walpurga or Walpurgis) who was living in England from 710–779. She became a Saint and in the Middle Age May 1st was the her celebration day. The nine days before were the “Walpurgis Days”; they rang the bells to block the witch craft that they thought would be around.

Traditional is the night from april 30 to May 1st the night of the witches. They would gather on the Blocksberg or Brocken, a mountain in the German mountain range Harz.
Goethe made the Walpurgisnacht also popular in his literary master piece “Faust” (part 1, 1808)

On the photo you can see a big fire which is the so called “Hexenfeuer” or “Maifeuer” and in many German places it will be lit in the middle of the night.
The purpose of this fire should get rid of the bad spirits, and when the fire is burned down, there is the “Maisprung”. Coiples are jumping together over the fire.

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