April 30.

This year 2020 with pandemi this will not be celebrated as earlier years.

Mostly in eastern and northern Sweden we have had this celebration. Nowadays a mix of several old customs. In the heathen times this night was one of the three yearly great bloody offering occasions.


The students at our universities this night celebrate Spring, with singing and taking on their Summer cap in common. They say that the hill up to the university of Uppsala at three o'clock in the afternoon suddenly gets wholly white when all the assembled students in common take their white caps on.

To celebrate "valborgsmäss" originally is a German custom. Walpurgis, an abbess from the eighth century in Germany has become the Swedish Valborg. Walpurgis was seen as a bearess of the fruitfulness of the earth. The easterly Swedish custom to make bonfires on the Walpurgisnight has a heathen origin: the intention was to frighten the witches.

And everywhere in the eastern and northern part of our country you will find "Valborgsmässoeldar" or May bonfires. Lots of firework is fired. The young people shoot crackers. Dogs and old people with heart deceases are frightened and don't go out of doors. Often it turns out in accidents by boys who make their own crackers and then hurt themselves and sometimes lose fingers or eyes. The fire brigade has high readyness for fires caused by crackers which land in dry grass or bonfires which have gone too far. Every year this time of the year the newspapers are filled with warnings for the accidents which can happen by crackers and fires.

When I was a child my parent's old music friends came to the place outside Stockholm where we lived. There they assembled, made picnic baskets and equipped with buckets for water to extinguishing etc. Then they took rowing boats and went to the other side of the lake and up on a rock hill "Länsmansberget" which overlooked the lake and there on the top they made their bonfore. It was seen far away. And they sang spring songs, some playing the violin and they all had something to eat and drink. Those Valborg parties were popular among my parent's friends.

The First Day of May