This gorgeous little film shall stand alone. This is what happened to me one May Eve long ago. Has it ever happened to you?
The Faeries dance,
The Witches play,
All Walpurgis Night,
And May Day.
History of Walpurgis Night
Historically Walpurgisnacht is derived from various pagan spring customs. Bonfires were built to keep away the dead and chaotic spirits that were said to walk among the living then. This is followed by the return of light and the sun as celebrated during May Day, although bonfires and witches are more closely associated with Easter (especially in Bothnia, Finland) and bonfires alone with midsummer in the rest of Finland.
Saint Walpurga herself was a niece of Saint Boniface and, according to legend, a daughter of the Saxon prince St. Richard. Together with her brothers she travelled to Franconia, Germany, where she became a nun and lived in the convent of Heidenheim, Bavaria, which was founded by her brother Willibald. Walpurga died of an illness shortly after moving the mortal remains of her brother, Saint Winibald on 25 February 779. She is therefore listed in the Roman Martyrology under 25 February. Her relics were transferred on 1 May so that she might be buried beside Willibald, and that day carries her name in the Finnish and Swedish calendars.
A nice bit of etymology for you: Beltane, and alternate name for May Eve, that also covers the entire season between May Day and Midsummer, is named for the Pagan God Bel. Christian missionaries, in their efforts to instill distrust and fear in Pagans to herd them towards Christianity, demonized the old gods, and Bel’s Fires of luck and purification, became Bale Fires with connotations of evil. When Saint Walpurgia’s Feast Day was moved to coincide with Beltane to trick the Pagans into celebrating her martyrdom, the fires became Bon Fires. Bon means good in French.
From Germany, Land of the Brothers Grimm
In Germany, Walpurgisnacht, the night from April 30 to May 1, is the night when allegedly the witches hold a large celebration on the Blocksberg and await the arrival of Spring.
Walpurgis Night (in German folklore) the night of April 30 (May Day’s eve), when witches meet on the Brocken mountain and hold revels with their gods…”
Brocken is the highest of the Harz Mountains of north central Germany. It is noted for the phenomenon of the Brocken spectre and for witches’ revels which reputedly took place there on Walpurgis night.
The Brocken Spectre is a magnified shadow of an observer, typically surrounded by rainbow-like bands, thrown onto a bank of cloud in high mountain areas when the sun is low. The phenomenon was first reported on the Brocken.
—Oxford Phrase & Fable.
Perhaps it was the Brocken Spectre that inspired the Vampire…
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