Friday, April 30, 2010

Burning of the Witches

In the ČR, April 30th is pálení čarodějnic - the burning of the witches. This is the day when winter is ceremonially brought to an end by burning either witches in effigy, or at least their broomsticks, on bonfires. As the "witches" burn so does the last of the winter chill.

According to theory, the celebration goes back to the Iron Age when both Bohemia and Moravia were occupied by Celts. A similar traditional holiday is still celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.

Some people also call this Walpurgis Night, named after Saint Walpurga. Walpurgis Night is a traditional German and Scandinavian celebration that dates back to the Vikings.

Basically, this is just an excuse for a party. Tonight I'm taking my first trip to Hungary so maybe I'll get the chance to see a bonfire next year.

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