What is Valborgsmässoafton?
Sweden celebrates Valborg or Walpurgis Eve on the last day in April every year. Like many holidays in Sweden, this traditionally Christian celebration no longer has much to do with religion, but rather is a celebration of the arrival of spring.
Swedes welcome spring on Walpurgis Eve across the country with music, alcohol, and community bonfires. It is also the day when students don the traditional white captain’s hats and sing songs in university towns.
Radio Sweden spoke with Jonas Engman, head of archives at Nordiska Museet, about the rituals of drinking and bonfires as well as how the holiday started.
"Valborg celebrations coincided with a lot of other customs that we had. For some reason it became very popular," he said. "The Church was really concerned about Valborg...They were really upset about people going around screaming, shouting, and even drinking in the villages."