What is Walpurgis night?
Phrase “ Walpurgis night “ always cast over me some mystical thoughts though I did not know its sense. Having found out about it “ holiday “ I made sure of the expectations, but the origin of this saying surprised me a little.
Walpurgis night is noted in the night from April 30 for May 1. It is the main sabbath of witches, and also one of the major pagan holidays devoted to fertility (characters of fertility often were associated at people with death, to follow at least the Greek Persefona`s example - wives the Aida, god of an underground kingdom of the dead, in combination goddesses of fertility and spring.) It is a holiday which each witch respecting herself is obliged to honor with attention. So whom treats, saddle whisks.
The first official mentions of Walpurgis night were published in protocols of unforgettable inquisition in the Middle Ages. The present name to an ancient celebration was given by Germans - in honor of sacred, naturally, to Valpurgiya (she is Valburga, Valtpurde, Valpurgis, Vabur, Falbur, Bug, Godurzh (you remember: “ … he Gog, it is Zhora, it …).
Saint Valpurgiya - a real historical figure. This notable British was born in Devonshire about 710 g. She was Richard`s daughter, one of kings of the Western Saxony, and Vinna, St. Bonifation`s sister, the apostle of Germany. Both of her brothers, Willibald and Vinibald, were canonized too. In a family!
Having gone to pilgrimage to the Holy Land together with sons, father Richard charged the 11 - the summer daughter to cares of the abbess of the Uinbornsky monastery known for the strict orders. And as a result the girl without budging from a place spent there not one year up to that she met the 37 - y on the account “ Birthday “ there.
But there were pluses in life of the inhabitant of Foggy Albion among which learning of foreign languages was registered. Valpurgiya them so well studied that she described in Latin travel of the brother to Palestine, not to mention the narration of life of other brother in native English. Therefore often St. Valpurgiya is called the first writer of England and Germany. Here with what everything began before reaching Rowling with Harry Potter.
In 748 - m Valpurgiya`s uncle, Bonifatsy (and you remember a lion from an animated cartoon?) decides to create system of monasteries in Germany. At its request the abbess Uinborna sends a missionerok, including Valpurgiya who waited for freedom.
The ship, according to the legend, sailed from Britain in a clear weather. But the awful storm began soon. The nun rushed on knees directly on the deck - and the sea right there calmed down. Seamen told about this miracle ashore, and in Germany met Valpurgiya with awe. Since then sacred it is considered the patroness of seamen (helps also at hydrophobia and during a storm).
Subsequently Valpurgiya became the abbess of the monastery in Haydenkhaym, the town in Bavaria near Ayshtadt, and after death of the brother directed even the man`s monastery. Her virtues and numerous miracles brought it glory. Valpurgiya of 777 g died on February 25. In total nothing would also read Valpurgy as “ usual “ sacred, but …
there Passed more than 100 years, miracles of the nun began to be forgotten partially. The new bishop of Ayshtadt decides to restore the monastery and church. Workers profaned a tomb of the abbess, and here - there was what was not registered for Saints - at night her terrible shadow was to the bishop, having frightened him to semi-death.
Soon - namely on May 1 - remains of the nun transported to Ayshtadt, having assigned in emptiness of one of rocks. And the curative oil helping from many diseases began to follow from the rock. Valpurgiya was canonized, having canonized. After its remains carried on the different cities and rural lands of Germany, and days when it happened, devoted to it (on February 25, on October 12, on September 24). But the main day of St. Valpurgiya - the first of May.
Emergence of a shadow of the late British gave the soil for a different gossip about her personality. After that pagan and Christian motives were weaved together, and the name of the righteous woman was received by the main holiday of evil spirits.
In the Middle Ages there was a belief that Walpurgis night is night of a feast of witches in all Germany and Scandinavia. Witches sat down astride the broom and were flown on mountain tops among which the greatest had success “ bald “ Mount Brocken where all gathered “ elite “ also celebrated the “ holiday “ in wild feasts, dancings and copulation with demons and a devil. They tried to prevent a safe current of spring, sent damage on people and cattle, etc.
In settlements on the eve of Walpurgis night held a magic ceremony of exile of witches: fires (on which witches sometimes burned effigies) were kindled, people bypassed houses with torches, church bells, etc. called. Was considered that herbs in Walpurgis night find the wonderful force therefore many healers - travnitsa came this day for collecting.
These beliefs can be found in 1 - y parts “ Fausta “ Goethe. There were they about the end of the 8th century probably in the same way as the faith in sorcerers and witches arose and extended: On May 1 the first spring holiday and festival was celebrated with special solemnity by pagans it gave roots to gossips about sabbaths. Their people who could not refuse pagan rites in favor of Christianity at once, and, despite strict prohibition (on pain of the death penalty of that inquisition) dismissed, continued to gather in inaccessible places that appropriate in the way, i.e. songs and dancings, to meet on May 1, in the future - Day of solidarity of workers. A situation (fires, the wild area) promoted distribution in the people of stories about the witches gathering this night in various inaccessible places.
Now in the night of April 30 for May 1 note Walpurgis night across all Central and Northern Europe - it is a holiday of a meeting of spring when huge fires are lit to take away the witches who are flown this night on a sabbath. The program of a holiday does not change more than 100 years: ancient games, like our torches, performance of student`s choruses and traditional fires on the eve of Walpurgis night. Here so canonized sacred became the darkness embodiment.
Several words about what actions are undertaken by people on the night of May 1 in the different European countries.
In Scandinavia burn down fires to attract spring, to frighten off spirits and to get rid of the garbage which collected during the winter, and eat gravlaks - a fresh salmon, marinated in salt, sugar and fennel.
In many European countries with sunset of the boy begin to shout and blow up petards. Because the best remedy for spirits - noise.
In the Czech Republic on the eve of Walpurgis night fill on a threshold sand or a grass that witches could not enter the house, will not count all grains of sand or blades yet.
In Bavaria jokers smear door handles with toothpaste, transfer doors to other place and pull out laces from boots. Walpurgis night at them - just as our eve of Ivan Kupala.