There's a penetrating chill in the wind. The bright moon rises behind the shivering, nearly naked trees. A profound sense of foreboding permeates the darkness. This is the night, after all, when witches ride their broomsticks through the sky, and the natural world is forced to confront the powers of the supernatural.
No, it isn't October 31 and this is not Halloween. It's April 30 and it's Walpurgis Night.
Like Halloween, Walpurgis has its roots in ancient pagan customs, superstitions and festivals. At this time of year, the Vikings participated in a ritual that they hoped would hasten the arrival of Spring weather and ensure fertility for their crops and livestock. They would light huge bonfires in hopes of scaring away evil spirits. Read more
Friday, April 30, 2010
Walpurgis Night: The Other Halloween
The night of April 30 is the year’s other night of witches, spells, and magic, says Stephen Wagner