Five great ways to celebrate Walpurgis in Sweden
The Local · 28 Apr 2016, 06:59
Published: 28 Apr 2016 06:59 GMT+02:00
- How to make the most of Sweden's 2016 holidays (07 Jan 16)
- Why are Swedes dancing around bonfires? (30 Apr 15)
- Naked Swedish witches prepare to mount (30 Apr 14)
1. Walpurgis Bonfire
On Walpurgis Night ('Valborgsmässoafton') Swedes all across the country will light bonfires to welcome spring. Check your local council's homepage for the closest one to where you are, but most of the action can usually be found in the nation's university towns Lund or Uppsala, where revellers see in the warmer weather with music, dancing and some rather wild student antics.
If you want calmer and more child-friendly celebrations, try the Walpurgis bonfire at the Skansen outdoor museum in Stockholm.
When: April 30th, evening
A Walpurgis bonfire at Skansen last spring. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
2. The King's birthday
Walpurgis Night also coincides with… the King's birthday! The Swedish royal will celebrate his 70th at Stockholm's Royal Palace on Saturday from 8am in the morning when 43 Swedish flags will be hoisted from the Skeppsbron bridge leading up to the palace to the sound of live music from one of the military bands. We bet it's a bit different to your birthdays, with your colleagues humming a half-hearted "Ja må hon leva…" and your Swedish sambo forgetting to bake a cake.
Here's a schedule for the whole thing, the excitement doesn't really kick off until around 10.25am, with King Carl XVI Gustaf himself making his first appearance at 10.55am.
Where: Royal Palace, Stockholm
When: Practically all day, but check the above schedule, April 30th
IN PICTURES: The seven most bizarre snaps of Sweden's King
King Carl XVI Gustaf, soon to turn 70. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT
3. Mary Ocher gig in Gothenburg
Singer-songwriter, visual artist, poet and underground director Mary Ocher is heading to Gothenburg on the west coast for a Walpurgis gig on Saturday. Born in Russia, raised in Israel and currently based in Berlin, she's influenced by the international art scene and has lately added a bit of a tribal touch to her music after teaming up with drumming duo Your Government.
Where: Kulturhuset Oceanen, Stigbergstorget 8, Gothenburg
When: Doors open at 7pm, April 30th
Tickets: 150 kronor
4. Hipster clubbing in Malmö
Malmö's best hipster bar, Far i Hatten, in the bustling Möllevången area of the southern Swedish city, is putting on a great series of jazz concerts and bluegrass gigs this Walpurgis Night. If you can't make your way down there, you can watch it from your couch – public broadcaster SVT will be showing it live from 6.15-7pm. There's great food as well at their restaurant, but don't forget to bring your card, because like so many other Swedish bars they don't accept cash.
When: From 6pm-ish until late, April 30th
Where: Far i Hatten, Folkets Park, Malmö
5. Half marathon in southern Sweden
Get your running shoes on for Sweden's southernmost race. This half-marathon along the south coast is probably one the most picturesque trails in the world and takes you along golf courses, the medieval Swedish town Trelleborg and sandy beaches (it'll be too cold for a swim, so don't even think about it). There are 50 slots left for those wishing to sign up on the day at a cost of 400 kronor, but you could also just come and watch.
When: The race starts at noon, April 30th
Where: From west of Trelleborg's golf course to Smygehuk
Sweden's southernmost race. Photo: Tina Malmberg/Sydkustloppet
Check out the calendar below for more things to do in Sweden this week!