Customs and rituals of walpurgis night

What are the customs and rituals of Walpurgis Night? The horror clinic has investigated this exciting question and has discovered a few things.

If you feel like drinking herbal teas and concocting new spells, then the time is probably near: the witches are walking around Blocksberg and are ready for their marriage with the devil. Learn now what only the witches know and become a proven Walpurgisnacht expert!

The origin of Walpurgis Night

The Walpurgis Night is known under different names. In addition to the name "Walpurgisnacht", which derives from the Saint Walburga which in the Middle Ages as a patron saint was always on the 1. May was celebrated, has itself in the meantime also the name "Dance into May” naturalized. The main focus is on the dance around the May fire.

But the least known is certainly"Beltane”, a word that comes from the Old-Irish. Thereby the word part means bel “bright fire", but also a connection to the deities Beli Mawr, Belenus and Bile is accepted in the Irish people. For the Irish, Beltane, together with the festivals of Imbolc, Lugnasad and Samhain, is one of the most important festivals, which came into being as a result of farm work. Beltane heralds the summer as well as the Celtic year.

While Walpurgisnacht goes back to the Christianization, Beltane is dedicated to paganism.

When witches dance

With the Walpurgisnacht is naturally very strongly connected the custom of the disguising. And not as just anything: witches, devils and magicians take the scepter in hand this night and swing the dancing leg. Especially on the Walpurgis celebrations around the Brocken you can see small and big witches everywhere.

The witches meet on their brooms on the Brocken to marry the devil and drive out the winter. With costumes, masks, dance and roar they drive away the evil spirits with torches and the May fire.

In the past, the Walpurgis night was also used for protection spells, fertility spells, oracles and predictions. Some of them are presented to you here!

Rituals of Walpurgis Night

After the Christianization one has above all the Protection from witches searched, why Rituals took place to keep them away: Salt was often sprinkled on doorsteps of stables and houses to protect residents and livestock. brushwood brooms were put up with the reverse side upward. Herbs, rose hips or tools buried under a steel door were also supposed to keep evil away. And in order to avoid being bewitched, fern (Walpurgis herb) was to be placed next to a milk churn.

However, some would certainly rather dress up as a witch than keep her away! ;)

Customs during Walpurgis Night

Since the Walpurgis Night, respectively. Beltane and Dance into May are closely associated with driving away winter, ushering in summer and celebrating a symbolic new beginning, many customs are performed that symbolize fertility, love and beginning.

The May fire is one of the essential things to Walpurgis Night. A large fire is lit during the night to drive away the evil spirits. Into the fire should go the nine sacred woods: Hazel, alder, birch, rowan, oak, elm, juniper, yew, larch.

Sometimes you can see a wooden witch being burned in the May fire. When it burns down, the so-called Corn Jump in many places: When jumping over the embers, one may wish for something. When a couple jumps over the fire, this used to signify their engagement; today, a couple’s jump is symbolically seen as a consolidation of the partnership.

The walk between two fires meant in former times Protection from epidemics and should cleanse. At that time this was mainly due to the veneration of the Walburga can be attributed to the patron saint for Plague, rabies and cough was.

Completely under the sign of love are the May tree, put the men in front of the door of the beloved as an expression of love. Sometimes the maypoles are decorated with colorful ribbons: a symbol of connection. In the past, people even danced with ribbons around the tree and decorated it with eggs, a symbol of fertility.

With dance and prank into May

Nowadays the Walpurgis Night is celebrated as a traditional Witches’ Night mainly celebrated on and around the Brocken mountain. Children like this celebration especially: they can dress up as witches and do all kinds of mischief. This is also under the verb"walpern” known: Children grab doormats, garden tools or other unfixed items at one house and put them in another place.

The dance is always an integral part of the 30. AprilWhether dressed as a witch or in an everyday outfit – dancing around the fire and welcoming the spring can finally everyone!

If you’re still looking for inspiration for your Walpurgis party, then you’ll find the right Walpurgis Night events in Germany with us . And if you prefer to organize your Walpurgis party at home, you will also get the ideas for it from us!

Have you already performed some Walpurgis customs and rites? Do you already have your witch costume ready??

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