Finland's April Carnival
The winter holiday known as Walpurgis is really important in Finland. While it is celebrated all over the world, it’s the fourth most important holiday there, behind only Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and the midsummer celebration known as Juhannus.
The name varies from place to place: Walpurgis Eve and Walpurgis Day, and some of the particulars of the celebration can differ. For example, in Finland, the holiday is also known as Vappu. Some interesting facts about Walpurgis Day: ·
- The event is held on the 30th of April, but the celebrations can carry on to the next day, which is May Day.
- LaVeyan Satanism considers Walpurgisnacht to be the anniversary of the founding of the Church of Satan.
- For most countries, the festival is named after St. Walpurga, an English missionary sent to the Frankish empire and was canonized around AD 870.
- In the Czech Republic, Walpurgis is meant to signify the end of winter. Symbolic elements of the dark, are burned. These “witches” are made from rags and straws and fed into bonfires.
- Estonia customs include people dressing up at witches.
- In Germany, Walpurgisnacht is believed to be the time of the year that witches and other night spirits gather to greet the dawn of spring.
- Bonfires, special breakfasts, and singing are some of the hallmarks of the Walpurgis winter holiday celebrations in Sweden. The country very much takes on the same carnival approach to the occasion that Finland takes.