In honor of Lady Beltane and her birthday on May 1st, I want to write about a celebration in Germany and most of Northern Europe.
In parts of Germanic Europe, “Walpurgisnacht” is celebrated each year around April 30th, right around the time of Beltane, which is celebrated on May 1st. The festival is named for a Catholic saint who lived a number of years as a Nun in the Frankish empire approxamitally in the year 748. Overtime the celebration of St. Walpurga blended with the Pagan Viking celebration of Spring and Walpurgsnacht was born.
Much like Samhain, six months later Walpurgsnacht is a time to communicate with the Spirit World and The Fae.
Bonfires were traditionally lit to keep away malevolent spirits or those who might do mischief. This is known as a night on which Witches and Sorcerers gather together to do magic, although this tradition appears to be heavily influenced by 16th and 17th German writings.
Today, some Pagans in central and Northern Europe still celebrate Walpurgsnacht as a precursor to Beltane. Although it is named for a martyred saint, many Germanic Pagans try to honor the celebrations of their ancestors by observing this traditional holiday each year. It is typically celebrated with lots of dancing, singing, music Ritual all night around a bonfire, in which Pagans welcome in Spring and new birth after the long cold winter.
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Fest300 – Walpurgisnacht Festival
In Germany Walpurgisnacht the night from April 30 to May 1st is the night when Witches are reputed to hold a large celebration on the Brocken mountain and await the arival of spring.
Brocken is the highest of the Harz Mountains of North central Germany. It’s noted for the phenomenon of the Brocken spectre. The Brocken spectre is a magnified shadow of an observer, typically surrounded by rainbow-like bands, thrown into a bank of clouds in high mountain areas when the sun is low. The phenomenon was first reported on the Brocken.
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Brightest Blessings Sisters and Brothers,