Well…I’m going to go ahead and guess a whole bunch of folks. But not me, until just today.
May Day is Walpurgisnacht. The rituals happened at the same time, with different sets of rural farming peoples, who saw the world differently. Celts celebrated in the day and through the night. Northmen celebrated in the night and through the day. The point of the festivities was the same: Yay! Warmth! Sunlight! Our food is going to grow!
Depending on which text you read and from which area the text is derived, Walpurgisnacht is either driving away Witches (or celebrating Witches, as is the modern case) or purely the welcoming of the warm weather with Summer Finding or, another multi-night festival dedicated to Odin.
It is said Odin hung himself from Yggdrasil for nine nights to gain the knowledge of language and the Runes. Walpurgisnacht is then celebrated from April 22 (aka Earth Day) to April 30th. The Celts began their celebration on May 1st with Beltane.
This year, the family is going camping for Hubby’s tiny truck driving competition. We are going to be right smack in the middle of the woods on Walpurgisnacht. How beautifully fascinating is that?
We have sicks with ribbons and bells left over from a friend’s wedding which we will bring with us to celebrate the holiday as we pick a tree to dance around. Perhaps we’ll just dance around the whole camp ground.
Either way, I’m excited to continue to learn more about the Nordic Wheel and develop my craft in line with the gods who have chosen me.
Perhaps next year we will do all nine nights for the gift of the Runes.
There are many variations, which will lead to lots of studying.
Poor me! I have to get my student on! (If I could make a living being a student, I would do so in a heartbeat!!)