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Walpurgis Eve
Bonfires are lit all over the country on Walpurgis Eve, April 30. Stockholm City Hall in the background.
Photo credit: Ola Ericson/

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?

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.

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.

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Walpurgis Eve at Skansen

On Walpurgis Eve, April 30, Swedes welcome spring by lighting huge bonfires and celebrate the end of a long and dreary winter by singing spring songs. These songs were spread by students' spring festivities and Walpurgis Night celebrations are especially festive in university towns.

Photo: Lola Akinmade Åkerström/

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Walpurgis Eve at Skansen

Photo: Lola Akinmade Åkerström/

Walpurgis Eve

Photo: Aline Lessner/

Walpurgis Eve

Photo: Aline Lessner/