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April 30: Walpurgis Night

It’s Walpurgis Night, also known in the Germanic and Scandinavian regions of Europe as “the other Halloween.” According to horror writer Bram Stoker: “Walpurgis Night was when, according to the belief of millions of people, the devil was abroad—when the graves were opened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things of earth and air and water held revel.” It’s named for the eve of the Feast of Saint Walpurga, who was a noted foe of witchcraft, and was perhaps coincidentally placed on the same night as an ancient pagan holiday, Hexennacht, or Witches Night. On this night it was believed witches and their cohorts would gather together to do evil and could only be driven away with bonfires, heavy drinking and loud noises. So tonight, fellow mortals, cling tightly to your soul, make some noise and pour them strong. Bonfire optional.