Friday, April 30, 2010

Fire and Champagne

Historically Valborgmässa (Walpurgisnacht) is derived from various pagan spring customs. Bonfires were built to keep away the dead and chaotic spirits that were then widely believed to walk among the living.1 This is followed by the return of light and the sun as celebrated during May Day. The strongest and most traditional Spring festivities are also found in the old university cities, like Uppsala and Lund where both undergraduates, graduates and alumni gather at events that last most of the day from early morning to late night on April 30, or "sista april" ("The last day of April") as it is called in Uppsala. Modern Valborg celebrations, particularly in Uppsala, consist of having a light breakfast including champagne and strawberries. During the day people gather in parks, drink alcoholic beverages, barbeque and generally enjoy the weather, if it happens to be favourable.

No comments: