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Crowds of people stand in the dark looking at a bonfire.
Walpurgis Eve at Skansen, Djurgården, Stockholm
Photo: Lola Akinmade Åkerström/

Things to do

Walpurgis Night (Valborg) and May Day

This is the night of the bonfire in Sweden, traditionally believed to ward off evil spirits, but now a festive way of getting rid of excess gardening odds and ends.

Expect a lot of Swedish flags around as King Carl XVI Gustaf celebrates his birthday on Walpurgis (Valborgsmässoafton) or short 'Valborg' as the Swedes call it. The day after, on May Day, there’s a host of parades and festivals.

When is Walpurgis and May Day in Sweden?

Walpurgis Eve is on April 30th and May Day is on May 1st.

Where can you celebrate Valborg 2019?

Most often people gather at a local park. If you're in Stockholm, go to Skansen; a historical open-air museum in Stockholm holding the biggest Walpurgis celebrations in Sweden. The program for the day can be found here: Valborg at Skansen

In Uppsala, almost 100.000 people gather in the Ekonomikumparken. In Lund, the celebrations take place in the city park. In Malmö it is held in Folkets Park. 

Who can celebrate Walpurgis?

Family, friends and lovers. Any excuse for a bonfire and singing.

How to do it like a local:

Just sing or hum along and be happy in general about the fact summer is coming.

What to do on May Day?

May 1st has been a public holiday in Sweden since 1939. Many choose to spend the day at a demonstration for workers rights.

Read more about Walpurgis and May Day.