Before May 1, Labor Day, the so-called "Walpurgisnacht" is celebrated. But where it is at this festival? Where does the name and what rituals are celebrated on Walpurgis Night?
The traditional festival is celebrated every year on 30 April. Today, the Walpurgisnacht is not so relevant and will be replaced by general "Dance into May" celebrations. Nevertheless, there are still many supporters of the Northern and Central European festival.
Walpurgisnacht: origin and meaning
The name "Walpurgisnacht" is derived from the holy Walburga. These were the daughter of the West Saxon King Richard the Pilgrim and a niece desheiligen Boniface. The Catholic Church venerates as a saint Walburga, her canonization took place on May 1st. However, the Walpurgisnacht has a less sacred Background: On the night of 30 April to 1 May witches celebrated am Brocken in resin and other mystical places with different rituals, dancing and singing. The focus was the joy that the changing weather from April, is finally over, the animals come back from their winter quarters and gradually sprout the seed. From the 16th century the Walpurgisnacht was also awarded the devil worship.Walpurgis Night celebration in Prague in 2013Start Photogallery(5 pictures)Here you can shop on holidays
Traditionally, the Walpurgisnacht is accompanied by various rituals. Below you will find a collection of Walpurgisnacht rituals:
- So there is a big fire on the occasion of the celebration, similar to the Easter fire.
- Spring is initiated by songs, speeches and dances.
- The launch in May and thus the views of the sunny time of year is to be left out and celebrated with exuberant joy.
- Epidemics are to be kept by the transition between two Walpurgisfeuer.
- After the Christianization of the feast of dance was introduced to the fire as a defense against witches.
- By noise on the streets spirits were expelled.
- To protect themselves against witches, white crosses painted on houses.
- About doorsteps this salt also is thrown.
- Are bells ringing at night, one is immune to witches who perform their devil dances simultaneously.
- Brooms are made with the twigs upwards.
- With an attached ring of Gundel vines all witches can be detected.
- You plant two forget-me on a stone with a little soil, can be determined with this ritual, whether the partner will remain faithful. the two plants grow towards one another is to start from a true relationship.
- Also pranks are played in defense against demons and spirits traditional in the Walpurgisnacht.
- In Sweden and Finland, the Walpurgisnacht is considered to be the occasion for one of the biggest student parties of the year.
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Image Sources: Vladimir Wrangel / Shutterstock.com, Constantine Pankin, LianeM