Walpurgis Night in Stockholm
Valborgsmässoafton in SwedishWalpurgis Night, or Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish, takes place on the last day of April and is celebrated all around Sweden. The celebrations date back to the Middle Ages and is one of the most celebrated nights of the year in Sweden. Finally, the long and dark winter is over, and spring and summer are knocking on the door.
Walpurgis Night - the beginning of Spring
Nowadays, Swedes usually celebrate Walpurgis Night to mark the beginning of spring and summer - the return of the light. To celebrate this, big bonfires are lit around the country. Friends and families gather to watch the bonfires, cook hotdogs and marshmallows, and listen to choir performances and speeches to celebrate the arrival of spring. It is tradition to hold a ”Speech to the spring”, or ”Tal till våren”, before the lighting of the bonfire.
Many of these bonfires can be found around Stockholm on the last day of April and everyone is welcome to take part in the celebrations.
Walpurgis Night at Skansen
Skansen, a popular Open-Air museum at Djurgården in Stockholm, light a big bonfire to celebrate Walpurgis Night. It’s actually the biggest bonfire in Stockholm. People gather around it and sing songs to say goodbye to winter and welcome spring and summer.
At Skansen, they actually start the celebrations in the afternoon, with choir performances and events. At 8.45 pm a speech will be held to welcome spring, and after that, at 9 pm, it’s the lighting of the bonfire.
If you’re a student, the entrance to Skansen will be free on the last day of April.
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Walpurgis Night at Riddarholmen
Skansen isn’t the only place you can visit to watch a bonfire and celebrate the arrival of spring. Traditional Walpurgis Night celebrations also take place at Riddarholmen in central Stockholm, with a torchlight procession leading up to the lighting of the bonfire. The torchlight procession starts at 8:10 pm from Stortorget in Gamla Stan (Old Town), and arrives at Evert Taube’s terrace at Riddarholmen at 8.30 pm for the lighting of the bonfire. Choir performances and music, together with the lovely bonfire, celebrates the arrival of spring.
Walpurgis Night around Stockholm
You can also watch a bonfire at Hammarby Sjöstad. They celebrate with a choir, music, dance, and fireworks.
Other bonfires can be found around Stockholm, for example at Hjorthagen IP, Mälarhöjden and Ulriksdals slott.
A night for partying
In recent years Walpurgis Night has also become a night of partying. The day after, 1st of May, is a holiday in Sweden (International Workers’ Day) making it a perfect night to hit the clubs and dance the night away.
Walpurgis Night is usually a big party night, and day, for students, since the semester is finally beginning to wind down for summer. Many spontaneous parties can be found in parks around the city and in the neighboring student city Uppsala.