Across Europe, May Day is celebrated as Walpurgis Night – an evening of song and dance that commemorates the arrival of spring. Learn more about the ways that different countries put their own spin on this traditional holiday during “Celebrate Cultures in Nature: Walpurgis Night” on Wednesday, May 1.
Named for Saint Walpurga, Walpurgis Night is traditionally celebrated outdoors. For instance, people of Finland celebrate with carnivals and picnics, and the holiday is as important in that country as Christmas. In Germany, people begin gathering on April 30, celebrating through to May 1. German folklore says that witches gathered on a nearby mountain called the Brocken to await the arrival of spring.