A night when bonfires are lit, witches meet, kids play pranks and copious amounts of sparkling wine is drunk (probably by their mothers!).
When: April 30th every year.
Where: Europe, especially Scandinavia and Germanic Europe.
Rather like Halloween it is believed that the boundaries between the spirit world and the real world become thin on Walpurgis Night.
Many of the Germanic and Scandinavian European countries celebrate by dressing as witches, singing round bonfires and drinking alcohol to keep away the dead and chaotic spirits. This is followed on May the 1st by the return of light and sunshine on May Day. Or, as its is more affectionately known in Estonia, Kaatripäev (Hangover day, derived from the German word kater meaning hangover). These celebrations on last the day of April and first day of May are closely linked with the Celtic festival of Beltane.
Walpurgis Night Food & Drink
As dusk falls and the Walpurgis Night bonfires light up the evening skies across Scandinavia, families and friends gather for picnics with gravlax, herring salad, fresh strawberries and sparkling wine. The Finns make nest-shaped May Day fritters (Tippaleivät) and drink lemony Spring Mead (Sima). See also May Day Food & Drink.
Head for Scandinavia, Germany, Estonia or Finland for Walpurgis Night celebrations, or to Edinburgh in Scotland for the Beltane Fire Festival (see the official Beltane Fire Society website for more information).
Dates / venues may be subject to change or cancellation. Distances may be straight-line estimates. Please verify information before booking.
Enjoy your trip! And when you’re home we’d love you to come back and tell us all about it!