Swedes to celebrate Spring and King on 30 April

Sunday 30 April is Walpurgis Night (Valborgsmässoafton) and Swedes all across the country will light bonfires to welcome spring. ToStockholm explains that, like many Swedish traditions, the exact origin of Walpurgis night is difficult to pinpoint. Some say the Swedish custom of the bonfire originates from the northern German Walpurgis witch fires, others say it is a Celtic tradition. In the Middle Ages the 30th of April marked the last day of the administrative year for merchants and craftsmen - a day of celebration. Nowadays, Swedes gather around the bonfire and celebrate the arrival of Spring. In the University cities of Uppsala and Lund, students don their characteristic white student caps and sing songs welcoming the spring! Find out from your neighbours where to find the closest bonfire or join the lighting of the bonfire at Skansen in Stockholm at 9pm. On the 30 April, Sweden also celebrates the King’s birthday (his 71st). At 12.15 on Sunday, children can present flowers to the King at the Outer Courtyard at the Royal Palace.