Walpurgis Night  

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Walpurgis Night is the eve of the Christian feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Francia, and is celebrated on the night of 30 April and the day of 1 May.

Saint Walpurga was hailed by the Catholic Christians of Germany for battling "pest, rabies, and whooping cough, as well as against witchcraft". Catholics prayed to God through the intercession of Saint Walpurga in order to protect themselves from witchcraft, as Saint Walpurga was successful in converting the local populace to Christianity. In parts of Europe, people continue to light bonfires on Saint Walpurga's Eve in order to ward off evil spirits and witches. Others have historically made Christian pilgrimages to Saint Walburga's tomb in Eichstätt on the Feast of Saint Walburga, often obtaining vials of Saint Walburga's oil.

Local variants of Walpurgis Night are observed throughout Northern and Central Europe in the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Lithuania, Finland, and Estonia. In Denmark and Norway, the tradition with bonfires to ward off the witches is observed as Saint John's Eve.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Walpurgis Night" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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