You may or may not not have heard of a celebration called Valborg, or Walpurgis Night as it is called in English. But chances are that you are going to Uppsala today or tomorrow with a bunch of friends to celebrate something.
Let’s start with the definitions. Walpurghisnacht is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8-th century abbess in Francia (credit: Wikipedia). In Sweden, however, this tradition has got very little to do with religion and much more with
drinking celebrating the beginning of Spring. And no wonder, it is the 29 of April and Spring has barely made it to Sweden.
Back to 2016. If you are going all in, you have already planned your days and bought a gästleg which is required if you want to visit some of the student nations, a.k.a nationer. Well done!
My friend from France is visiting this weekend, so we are going to Uppsala tomorrow morning because I am a good host (hehe) and…well, how often do you find yourself in a foreign country where there is a day when the entire city is consuming alcohol from early morning to early night? I am personally not a big fan of this day, but it’s definitely fun to hang out with a bunch of friends in a student city and hope that it doesn’t start raining all of the sudden (although, according to yr.no it will be relatively sunny the entire day. fingers crossed..).
So, what not to miss in Uppsala during Valborg.
- Champagne breakfast at 8 am. Because, why on Earth will you not drink champagne with your breakfast?
- Don’t go hard on that champagne, because it’s not even 10 am by the time you are done with the most important meal of the day. You next task is to (I automatically assume you are the responsible one in your group) try and gather everyone in one piece and get to the city centre for The River Rafting Event, or Forsränningen. It is the highlight of Valborg in my opinion, so go check it out (it starts at 10 am!)
- The rest of the day is sort of up to you, but I will most likely be at some park trying to find my classmates.
- LAST BUT NOT LEAST. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try catching the last SJ train from Uppsala. I tried to do it a couple of years ago, and the train that arrived at the station was so small that we didn’t make it on the train and had to wait for a night bus to Arlanda, then another one from Arlanda to Stockholm.. I think I got home sometime after 5 am that day. I don’t recommend that.
Have a lovely Valborg and do not forget to bring an external charger for your phone!