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A traditional Walpurgis bonfire on Riddarholmen in Stockholm. The Stockholm City Hall is visible in the background. Walpurgis, or Valborgsmässoafton, is a Swedish tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. It's celebrated the 30th of April each year.
Photo: Stina Bengtsson
Categories: Attractions

Walpurgis

Publish date: 11 November 2020

Walpurgis, or Valborgsmässoafton, dates back as far as the Middle Ages. In the beginning, it was celebrated by merchants in the cities (the 30th of April marking the end of their fiscal year) but it was also celebrated on the countryside, to mark the passing of spring into summer. Farmers would let their livestock graze late into the evening and lit bonfires to ward off any predators or evil spirits lurking in the shadows.

The bonfires are still part of Walpurgis celebration, with a family friendly bonfire-event (and accompanying food stalls and choir performances) in virtually every part of the city. Nowadays it’s also an evening of partying and clubbing. Both since the following day, the 1st of May, is a holiday and since the university and college semesters are winding down with only a few exams and lectures left. You won’t have to look hard to find a great party with music to your liking.