Πέμπτη, 4 Ιουλίου 2013

Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht)

Luis Ricardo Falero (1878)
Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht) is a traditional spring festival on 30 April or 1 May in large parts of Central and Northern Europe. It is often celebrated with dancing and with bonfires. It is exactly six months from All Hallows' Eve. In Germany, Walpurgisnacht, the night from 30 April to 1 May, is the night when witches are reputed to hold a large celebration on the Brocken and await the arrival of spring. Walpurgis Night (in German folklore) the night of 30 April (May Day's eve), when witches meet on the Brocken mountain and hold revels and orgies with the Devil. Around the summit of the Brocken, the witches dance for the Devil, who then selects one of the witches to be his Bride for the year. 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.

Dave Lipscomb for Belialian Woman By Hydra M. Star

Franz Xaver Simm (1853-1918) for Faust

Johannes Praetorius Blockes-Berges Verrichtung, Leipzig u.a. 1668

Faust performance poster, 1887

A scene in Goethe's Faust Part One is called "Walpurgisnacht," and one in Faust Part Two is called "Classical Walpurgisnacht." The last chapter of book five in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain is also called "Walpurgisnacht." In Edward Albee's 1962 play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Act Two is entitled "Walpurgisnacht." From Bram Stoker's short story, "Dracula's Guest," an Englishman is on a visit to Munich before leaving for Transylvania. It is Walpurgis Night, and in spite of the hotelier's warning not to be late coming back, the young man later leaves his carriage and wanders toward the direction of an abandoned "unholy" village. As the carriage departs with the frightened and superstitious driver, a tall and thin stranger scares the horses at the crest of a hill.



W. Jury after Johann Heinrich Ramberg Walpurgisnacht scene in Faust (1829) 


Walpurgisnacht, Gemälde von Albert Welti (1897)

Witches flying to Sabbat by Bernard Zuber Woodblock print 1926


Johfra: Witches Sabbath (1977)

Émile-Antoine Bayard (1870)

Francisco Goya (1797-1798)
Jacob Corneliszoon van Oostsanen (1526)
Stefan Eggeler's etchings for Gustav Meyrink's Walpurgisnacht (1922):


Santiago Caruso

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