A night of song and fire

The songs are an essential part of the Swedish Valborg celebrations, and some of the most famous ones include Längtan till landet (Vintern rasat)Vårsång (Glad såsom fågeln) and Sköna maj, välkommen. With lyrics welcoming the spring and the much-needed light after a long winter, they are performed by choirs around a bonfire. Listen to one of them here:

Due to the pandemic, walpurgis events are still up in the air for 2021, we will update once we know more.

Walpurgis – the students’ night

Valborg is an important part of student life in Sweden, where it marks the approaching end of the academic year. In Gothenburg, students from various associations gather in the park Trädgårdsföreningen where they listen to live music and put on their hats together. This will not happen this year.

There is also a large caravan called Cortègen that makes its way through the city every Walpurgis night since 1909. The carriages feature self-made vehicles and other entertaining constructions with shows performed on top of the trucks. Every year, hundreds of thousands of locals gather in the city centre to watch the parade.

The Swedish Mayflower throughout the years.
The Swedish Mayflower throughout the years.

Flowers for a cause

Wondering why everyone suddenly has a little paper flower on their coat? Majblomman, the Mayflower, is a charity tradition dating back to 1907 that was founded in Gothenburg by a woman named Beda Hallberg. Originally collecting money for people suffering of tuberculosis, the Mayflower organisation now focusses on fighting child poverty.

The flowers are sold by school children and various associations from mid-April and come in a new colour every year. Look around and you’ll see plenty of them by the Walpurgis bonfire!