© Nordstadtlicht

Walpurgis spectacles in Braunlage

in the Harz the witches are gone

Witch dance and devil’s stuff on the boulder

Witches and devils conquer the Harzort

Traditionally, the northern and central European festival of Walpurgis is celebrated every year in the Harz on the night of 30 April on the 1st of May.

 According to the legend, the witches gather on the witch’s dance ground for Walpurgis Night to fly together on their brooms and other aircraft to their so-called Blocksberg (Brocken) to dance around the fire, to celebrate and to marry the devil.  This is the only way they get the ability to do magic.

 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe reported in his “Faust I” of the Walpurgis night, which only became famous.

 On this page we bring you closer to the Walpurgis spectacle through texts and pictures, as if you were there!

 Due to the Corona pandemic, we won’t be able to celebrate a big Walpurgis festival in 2021.


How is Walpurgis celebrated?

In einem HexenKäfig sind drei Hexen eingesperrt. Am Käfig steht ein Schild mit Hexenfänger.
© Holger Schlegel

The festivities are accompanied by Walpurgis parades in the Harz, which lead visitors to the witch’s cauldrons of the cities, where witch’s feast, mayowle, music, dances and fire shows make the atmosphere boil.  The traditional game of Walpurgis and the famous Devil’s Speech at midnight take visitors into the legendary world of the Harz.  Celebrations are held from the afternoon to the early hours of the morning.  Walpurgis Night is celebrated in more than 20 places in the Harz region.  The centres of the witch cauldrons are located in the cities of Braunlage, Schierke, Sankt Andreasberg, Thale, Hahnenklee and Bad Grund.


Walpurgis for kids

Ein Hexenkind hat ein Hexenhut auf und eine falsche Hexennase auf.
© Holger Schlegel

Dressing up is a very special fun for children.  For the right facial color, the young witches and devils are conjured a scary face.

If the children prove themselves in individual flight hours, the witch’s brush driving license can be obtained.  A very special award is the magical order of witches, which is awarded for outstanding courage.  The traditional children’s walpurgis game takes the little ones into the mystical world of the Harz.

© Nordstadtlicht

Why is it called Walpurgis?

The name Walpurgis can be traced back to an abbess from England, Saint Walburga, who, however, never had anything to do with witchcraft.  The roots go back to Germanic origins and go far back to pre-Christian times.  The aboriginal inhabitants of the Harz celebrated a spring festival and rejoiced at the end of winter.  The expulsion of the evil spirits was done by masks, shots and fire.


How do I get to the witch’s cauldron?

Draw the witches to the boulder,
 The stubble is yellow, the seed is green.
 There gathers the great heap,
 Mr. Urian is sitting upstairs.
 That’s how it goes about rock and stick
 The witch fights, the goat stinks.

 from Goethe’s Faust

© Holger Schlegel
Ein Teufel mit Teufelshörnern guckt in die Kamera.
Double plague you, mix and mix! Kettle is boiled, fire is hissing.

William Shakespeare

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