April 30, 2015

Valborg (Walpurgis) Celebrations in Stockholm

Photo by Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Tonight is Valborgsmässoafton (or Walpurgis Eve) here in Sweden! This is a great, annual spring celebration where Swedes gather in the evening, light bonfires and sing traditional songs. Tomorrow, May 1st, is a bank holiday (International Workers Day) so younger celebrants can get a little rowdy. But it is all in good fun. There are official bonfires being lit tonight throughout the city (though mostly in the suburbs), but if you are staying at the Rival Hotel then there are two that are conveniently close to the hotel... if you wish to witness and partake in the festivities.
Valborg at Skansen, photo by Dan Larsson
The main celebration is at Skansen on the island of Djurgården. There will be things (concerts, speeches) going on all afternoon and early evening... but the all important bonfire will be lit at 9pm. Another place you can celebrate is on the island of Långholmen. Here they will light the bonfire at 8pm (though they start celebrating at 6pm). There is usually a large celebration in Gamla Stan and Riddarholmen. However, this year it is cancelled due to construction on the island of Riddarholmen. Click here for a full list of bonfires (list in Swedish). Happy Spring!

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