Walpurgis night in the Harz with witches, demons and tourists | NDR.de – News – Lower Saxony

Status: 01.05.2022 08:10

It was quiet for two years – in the Harz Mountains on the night of May Day, Walpurgis Night. It was different again this year: lots of people dressed in scary costumes went to the low mountains to party.

Hundreds of people came to Altenau in the evening, where the traditional gathering had already started in the afternoon with a parade through the town. About 25 cities and towns invited for this particular change of day. The Harz Tourist Association in Goslar was expecting tens of thousands of visitors in advance, as before the corona pandemic. She was the reason the celebration had to take place in a virtual space for the past two years.

Events at Walpurgis Night in the Harz Mountains

  • In Goslar the market square has been transformed into a “mystical cauldron” with a bubbling market fountain. Live music was planned. Those who were not disguised could stock up on masks, hats, horns and brooms on site.
  • The Vitalpark has been transformed into “a mystical fairy tale cauldron of mythical creatures”. Bad Sachsa (District of Göttingen). In addition to demons and witches, there were also many legendary figures on stilts.
  • In Thale (Harz district) rose one of the largest parties in Walpurgis. However, the dance was not on the “Hexentanzplatz” but in the clubhouse.

Witches ride the Brocken to mate with the devil

According to the widely held opinion, Walpurgis Night dates back to ancient pagan customs and superstitions. It is said that the witches went to the Brocken on the evening of April 30 to mate with the devil by the fire. Along the way, they are said to have bewitched everything they encountered. Farmers therefore attached crosses and bunches of grass to the stable doors to protect their cattle. The first Walpurgis festival organized for tourists took place in 1896 on the Brocken.

Further information

On April 30, thousands of people celebrate Walpurgis Night around Brocken Walpurgis Night. After the Corona break, many festivals and parties will take place again this year. After

The chief devil and the chief witch, Hans-Joachim and Petra Grimm, pose during the celebration of Walpurgis in the Kurpark of Braunlage in the Harz mountains (Lower Saxony).  The traditional Walpurgis night is celebrated every year in the Harz.  © dpa-Bildfunk Photo: Swen Pförtner

Every year spring is greeted with festivals and fireworks from Walpurgis. In the Harz mountains in particular, more than 40 places around the Brocken celebrate the month of May. After

Burning of Three Women, c.1580 (woodcut, c.1580, recoloured) © picture-alliance/ akg-images

For the present-day region of Lower Saxony, the extent of the witch hunt has only been investigated to a limited extent. After

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NDR 1 Lower Saxony | Current | 04/30/2022 | 13:00 ‘O clock

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