Saint Walpurgis Night

This is what it looked like last night during the traditional Valborgsmässoafton bonfire celebration here in Västra Hamnen. I was expecting there to be some folks, but the turnout was surprisingly large.

Valborgsmässoafton is actually a German tradition and is celebrated in Germany and the Baltic nations as well. In German, Valborgsmässoafton is called Saint Walpurgis Night. Saint Walpurga was an 8th-century abbess in Francia hailed by the Christians of Germany for battling “pest, rabies, and whooping cough and witchcraft. In parts of Europe, like Sweden, people continue to light bonfires on Saint Walpurga’s Eve in order to ward off evil spirits and witches.