Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Walpurgis Eve!

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

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!


  1. Vilken snygg brasa! Valborg är ett riktigt avstamp för våren och jag älskar sångerna du nämner. Sjöng i kör under hela min uppväxt fram tills jag var kanske 20 år. Nu är det skralt med sång-tillfällen. Hos mig blir tyvärr inget trevligt valborgsmässo-firande i år. Står just nu och hjälper min man med de sista förberedelserna och packningen inför en arbetsresa till Kina i morgon. Det har varit riktigt gråväder här idag så jag hoppas verkligen på lite sol i morgon så jag hinner ut lite mellan fotbolls-matcher och annat ståhej som hör till en vanlig helg när man har barn...


  2. Här har småduggat i eftermiddag men inte riktigt regnat. Röklukten från valborgsbålen har legat i luften hela kvällen.
    Fortsatt trevlig helg

  3. What a great tradition - I agree I like any excuse for a bonfire and merriment!

  4. Jag har varit o åkt skidor o missade hela firandet. Men jag tog ju igen lite här!

    Ha det gott!

  5. Love this post too! After a dark and cold winter, a bonfire to celebrate spring sounds perfect. (hmm... sounds like burning season in MA, which just finished. - we always used to do the bonfire, but we should have done more of the merriment to go along with it!)

  6. Hej Annelie,

    Roligt att jag fick inspirera dig, tack! Vi har haft fullt upp i helgen så tiden framför datorn har varit minimal. Jag tycker du lyckades bra med att förmedla känslan av sången!

    Hoppas ni hade en skön dag på stranden.



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