Witches, masks and fires
When people say “Walpurgis Night” in Germany, the most common association would be witches dancing around fires.
Traditionally this feast takes place during the night of April 30th, which is believed to be the name day of Saint Walpurga, patron saint of seafaring and against evil spirits.
The origins of Walpurgis Night are believed to be in pagan festivals held just before spring: Vikings had a ritual where they lit up bonfires to keep evil at bay, to urge spring to come and to spread fertility to their livestock and fields.
According to legend, witches meet up on this night to fly to the German mountain “Brocken”, where they hold a large celebration. They dance around a huge bonfire and summon the Devil so that they can be wedded to him; then Satan gives the witches their abilities to use magic.
Back in the day witches used a self-made salve on their bodies and brooms. As the mixture is intoxicating, the women probably felt like they could actually fly.
Recently scientists managed to ascertain the formulation to this salve and planned to sell it to tourists in Germany. However, it was classed as a narcotic drug by German authorities and sale of it was not approved.
No matter if you will dance into May or if you will celebrate Walpurgis Night, tsd wishes you a great evening!