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Smorgasbord

Firing up for spring on Walpurgis Night

By lighting bonfires on 30 April, people all around Sweden celebrate the brighter times ahead.

TEXT: Sofia Norén
15 MARCH, 2018

Every year on the last day of April, Swedish people gather to celebrate Valborg, or Walpurgis Night. The history of the celebration goes back as far as to the Middle Ages where Valborg officially was the end of the administrative year. Accordingly, this was a day of festivity with dancing and singing to greet the upcoming spring.
Welcoming the spring season and enjoying nature’s rebirth after winter is still very important for Swedish people. It is celebrated most commonly by friends and family gathering outside to light a big bonfire, called Valborgseld or majbrasa, to eat and drink together, and listen to choirs singing about greeting the spring and brighter times. These kind of gatherings are arranged for the public all over Sweden. Once the fire dies, many people continue the evening with various festivities around the town, especially the students.

PHOTO: Aline Lessner