So, what in the name of…. Is Walpurgisnacht????
Well it’s a little old fun tradition, I know we have so many, but never the less here is another one. While not observed in all areas of Germany, especially in the more rural areas you may want to keep an eye out for kids running wild tonight.
Here is some history,
The German term is recorded in the 17th century as Saint Walpurgis Nacht or S. Walpurgis Abend. In earlier references, 1 May is more typically referred to as Jacobi Philippi, after James the Less and Philip, the apostles whose feast day falls on 1 May.
Walpurga was an Anglo-Saxon nun in the 8th century. She returned to Germany, the land of her ancestors, to help out her uncle St. Boniface. Boniface was a real “nice” guy who liked to travel around and defile sacred sites in central Europe as a way of converting the locals to Christianity. Walpurga continued the Family Business by running a monastery in Bavaria. She was canonized for doing a good job at the monastery and for supposedly calming a storm on her boat ride to Germany via prayer.
In Germany, Walpurgisnacht, the night from 30 April to 1 May, is the night when witches are reputed to hold a large celebration and await the arrival of spring.
In some parts of northern coastal regions of Germany, the custom of lighting huge fires is still kept alive to celebrate the coming of May, while most parts of Germany have a derived Christianized custom around Easter called “Easter fires”.
Some of the biggest celebrations can be found on the Brocken (the highest mountain in the Harz) where to this day big celebrations are held. Every year on the feast day of St. Walpurga, hordes of revelers in witches’ costumes gather on the summit of Mount Brocken in the Harz Mountains to celebrate Walpurgis Night. This traditional German festival, an extravaganza of broomsticks and dancing, now attracts people from all over the country. Why not join the thousands of would-be witches on the night proceeding the first of May and turn back the clock to the middle Ages?
Also, the Thingstaette in Heidelberg often has a huge party like celebration with thousands of people having fun and sitting around fires watching artists like fire breathers and more.
In Berlin, traditional leftist May Day riots usually start at Walpurgis Night in the Mauerpark in Prenzlauer Berg. There is a similar tradition in the Schanzenviertel district of Hamburg, though in both cases, the situation has significantly calmed down in the past few years.
Weird things happen on the night of April 30 to May 1. It’s a custom mainly for children and teenagers to tamper with the neighbors, such as ringing doorbells and running off, hiding possessions or putting mustard on door handles. Sometimes, older children or adults do destructive things like lifting drainage covers in the middle of the road or moving traffic signs. So, drivers are asked to be very careful at night or the following morning, because these actions create safety hazards and result in property damage. German Police patrols the neighborhoods and takes appropriate action if necessary. These pranks can occasionally result in damage to property or injury.
Bild von Melmak auf Pixabay