Throughout the world the night from April 30 to May 1 is the night of the Sabbath, during which, according to popular belief, witches flock on Bald Mountain. However, only in Sweden Walpurgis Night is a national holiday and has almost nothing to do with religious events. Valborg, as it is called here, is just a greeting of spring — something like the Russian Shrovetide, which is attended by thousands of people, so that usually quite after 6 o’clock Stockholm continues to make noise even after midnight.
Somewhere in the distance to the accompaniment of suddenly gained their own sound runes, torches are litting, torches are carrying by both children and adults, they are throwing them in a huge bonfire on the lake and telling legends worthy of the Lovecrafts’ dreams.
The most popular this holiday is between students. Exams are soon over and only a few lectures remain before term ends. The best place to feel the atmosphere is near the famous bonfire on Museum Island (actually, the island is called Djurgården, which translates as “animal’s land”).
I am walking on a small plot of the island in search of a mug of hot chocolate and the favourite meatballs of a “Man in his Prime”, but find only cranberry juice, pickled Baltic herring, bread from wheat flour, and hot dogs.
Thick fog is descending on the city and muting the flickering of bright signs; grog and punch are flowing like a water, gradually gaining a victory over the icy wind that penetrates from all sides.
I am writing these lines looking at the lights of one of the main streets, have found my hot chocolate, and somewhere behind me waiters are slowly removing chairs — even at the day of holiday there is no reason to work till the night, so the café will be closed exactly at 11 pm.
Outside the window the temperature is about six times lower than average Russian temperature in May, the station is closed until the morning and my phone is more dead than alive. On the other hand, it’s the first time I tasted such a delicious licorice candy :D.
See ya later, the country of the Vikings, fjords and rocks. The next time I’ll be ready.