© Andy Happel

Walpurgis Night

Festival of the Dark Forces

When people talk about the devil's cult and witches riding a broomstick, they are usually referring to Walpurgis Night in the Harz Mountains.

The Walpurgis Night is celebrated on the night of 30 April to 1 May of every year.

It is a traditional European festival whose origins go back to pre-Christian times. As early as 1,000 years ago, the "indigenous people" of the Harz Mountains celebrated a spring festival, welcoming spring by making various offerings to the supreme Germanic god Wodan.

The Harz Mountains‘ Walpurgis Nights are usually celebrated in more than 20 towns in the region. Centres of the festivities are the towns of Bad Grund, Braunlage, Hahnenklee, Sankt Andreasberg, Schierke and Thale.


Now to the Brocken the witches ride; The stubble is gold and the corn is green; There is the carnival crew to be seen, And Squire Urianus will come to preside. So over the valleys our company floats, With witches a-farting on stinking old goats.

from FAUST, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Then truly hell breaks loose in the Harz Mountains

Walpurgis in St. Andreasberg

On the last night in April, the dark forces celebrate a festival with their witches. Like a bubbling cauldron of witches, the magical mountain world casts its spell on thousands of guests from all over Germany during these days.

And every year, the villages around the mysterious Blocksberg are the scene of devilish witchcraft.

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© Braunlage Tourismus Marketing GmbH, Foto: Richter


© WTG, J. Friedrich

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