Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beltane & Walpurgis Night. The other Halloween!

This was Walpurgis Night!
'Dracula's Guest', Bram Stoker, 1914.

While many people may be familiar with Walpurgis Night from books and films relating to Dracula, it is much more than those stories would have us believe. Walpurgis Night is a traditional holiday celebrated on 30 April or 1 May every year in Germany, Finland, Sweden and many other Baltic states. Also known as Cross Quarter Day, it is closely connected to the English holiday May Day; both, in all likelihood, stem from the pagan rite of Beltane.
The current festival is, in most countries that celebrate it, named after Saint Walpurga, born in Devon about 710. Due to the coincidence of her holy day falling on the same day as the pagan holiday on which it was based, her name became associated with the celebrations. Walpurga was honoured in the same way that Vikings had celebrated spring and as they spread throughout Europe, the two dates became mixed together and created the Walpurgis Night celebration. Early Christianity had a policy of 'Christianising' pagan festivals so it is perhaps no accident that St. Walpurga's day was set to May 1. It is said that this moment in nature's calendar allows access to the supernatural as the veil that separates the two worlds weakens. So make haste and "do your thing"
However you acknowledge & celebrate this magical time let's all become one. Through unity there is strength that will allow the light to overcome the dark!

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