Walpurgis night 30th of April | Undutchables

Walpurgis night 30th of April

Categorie: Cultural

30th of April in Sweden

The 30th of April is a special day in Sweden. It is the King’s birthday, the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.

You can expect a lot of Swedish flags around the Kings celebration and it is also Walpurgis (Valborgsmässoafton) or short 'Valborg' as the Swedes call it.

Why and how is Valborg being celebrated?

This is the night of the bonfire in Sweden, traditionally believed to ward off evil spirits, chasing away witches, but now a festive way of getting rid of excess gardening odds and ends. Now, 'post' Covid we hope to be able to celebrate it in the traditional way.

It is also a celebration that the winter is ending. The night of April 30th is halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. The date has a strong connection with Beltane, the Celtic festival that was considered the last day of winter and was a celebration of the beginning of summer.

If chasing away witches on Walpurgis Night isn't exciting enough, it was also the end of the administrative year in the middle ages, which would have been a good enough excuse in itself to kick back with a flagon of artisan brewed mead and toast something tasty in front of a bonfire.

Walpurgis fire

Where can you celebrate Valborg?

Most often people gather at a local park. In Stockholm for example, you could go to Skansen; a historical open-air museum in Stockholm holding the biggest Walpurgis celebrations in Sweden. In Malmö, it is usually held in Folkets Park and in Lund in the city park.

Walpurgis Night is traditionally a partial non-working day (however, in 2022, it is on a Saturday). Many employers let their employees take a part of the day off. You can also expect reduced opening hours in the shops.

Check this link to see what is happening in Stockholm on the event site of Visit Stockholm. If you are in Göteborg, Gothenburg, you can find more information on the web site of the city of Gothenburg.

Wondering who can celebrate Walpurgis?

Family, friends, and lovers. Any excuse for a bonfire and singing. The locals just sing or hum along and are happy in general about the fact that the winter is ending and the summer is on its way.

If you are interested to read more about what Walpurgis night means, please find more information on the website of Visit Sweden.

What to do on the 1st of May Day?

May 1st has been a public holiday in Sweden since 1939. Many choose to spend the day at a demonstration for the workers’ rights. As well as in other countries, the 1st of May is being embraced in Sweden. Since 1938, the 1st of May is Sweden’s first non-religious public holiday and is an important day for the working classes.

If you’re in Stockholm, head to Humlegården or Medborgarplatsen around 12.00 ish to catch the start of two demonstrations.


Become a member

Would you like to receive our Undutchables Newsletter? In this newsletter we will give you guidance on working in the Netherlands or in Sweden and working with internationals, let you know about upcoming events and share interesting articles.