Today, April 30th, is the eve of Valborg, or Walbpurgis Eve, in Sweden. A night I haven't celebrated since I moved to the United States. That's 15 years.
In short, it's an unofficial holiday where we light huge bonfires at dusk and sing songs to welcome the spring. To be honest, most Swedes have no clue as to where the tradition stems from, and we use this day as an excuse to light a big fire, and to eat, drink and be merry.
After all, most people are so excited to welcome spring after a long, dark winter. Who wouldn't be, right? Besides, all those twigs and branches lost to winters storms or snow now find a purpose.
Image from sv.wikipedia.org
One of my favorite songs that is sung on this evening is Vintern Rasat written in 1838 by Herman Sätherberg.
The song, it's original title Längtan till landet, (freely translated Longing to the country side) is so poetic and it gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. It has such a connection to the nature. I'll make an attempt to translate into English a little part of it to give you a feel for it.
"Yes, I'm coming! Greetings, happy winds,
out to the countryside, out to the birds,
tell, I love them, to birch and linden trees,
lakes and mountains, I want to see them again
see them again like in my childhood moments,
follow the brook's dance to a clear lake,
the blackbirds song in the pinewood groves
waterbirds play along bay and island."
Click here and you can hear the song and watch a bonfire being lit.
In My Blueberry House (click on her Google Translator) read how Sanna celebrates with her children who are in the scouts.
Happy Walpurgis Eve!