April 30, 2016

Valborg (Walpurgis) Celebrations in Stockholm 2016

Photo by Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Tonight, April 30th, 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 at Evert Taube's Terrass on the island of Riddarholmen, just adjacent to Gamla Stan (old town). Here they will light the bonfire at 8.30pm (however it all starts with a torch parade from Stortorget in the old town at 8:10pm). Click here for a full list of bonfires (list in Swedish). Happy Spring!

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