April 30, 2007

April 30

The Celtic people divided the year in two seasons. Winter started November 1 (Samhain / Haloween) and Summer May 1 (Beltaine). The night before they lighted purification fires on mountains and hills.

A similar tradition existed among Germanic and Scandinavian people, the Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht, Valborgsmässafton...). The name comes from Saint Walburga, active in Germany and declared a saint May 1, 779. She was by the Germans honored in the same way as the Vikings celbrated the arrival of spring, by fires. This was later somehow mixed together.

To this you can add the tradition about the witches, again of German origin.

In the Nordic countries, other traditions are also linked to April 30, often related to the student life (carnivals, singing...). How long will these traditions last?

There is, to my knowledge, no specific April 30 celebration around Paris, so I had to steal a picture.


Annie said...

I live with a Norwegian American and I have some Scandanavian background myself. So since we are diminutives of our ancestors in many ways, tomorrow I will burn a candle in honor of the summer season.

Take care, Peter, and thanks for visiting me.

Peter said...

... if you were French you should also expect some "Lilies of the Valley". I will come back to this later today or tomorrow.

... and thanks for visiting my blog... and once more sorry for the Barcelona /Madrid stupid mixup.

Cergie said...

Ca c'est passionnant
Les traditions liées au calendrier, différentes suivant les cultures...
Je suis très sensible à la Ste Lucie (solstice d'hiver... Et puis c'est mon prénom) à la Saint Jean (solstice d'été)
J'ai parlé aussi de l'équinoxe de printemps...

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