Valborg Chaos

In many northern countries, the emergence of spring is something special to be celebrated. A few years ago, we happened to be in Göteborg, Sweden during Walpurgis Night (Valborgsmässoafton), the last day of April, the eve of May Day. One of the traditions of Valborg in Göteborg is the rather chaotic University student parade.

It begins quite sedately…

valborg_parade_beginning1

…with the usual commotion of marching bands…

valborg_marchingband

…but then, the parade really begins when students let loose the hurly-burly, mayhem and perhaps a little bit of anarchy. There is a lot of dress-up and ingenious modes of transportation…

valborge_mower

valborg_witch_bike

valborg_multiple_bikes

…jumbled with role playing and political commentary, the interpretation a little confusing to the outsider…

valborg_roleplay

valborg_comandos

valborg_russian

All accompanied with the din of mock punk and rock…

valborg_music

valborg_rock

Eventually, the students find their way to the park where the bedlam of bonfires blaze through the night until dawn and May Day arrives.

Chaos: Thee Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

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6 comments

    • Organised chaos and a lot of fun watching. We avoided the bedlam of the bonfires and had a fantastic May Day visiting Göteborg’s botanical gardens – a balm after the evening’s events. Hoe you are enjoying entertaining your Swedish guests. Should be spring in your end of the world.

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  1. What fun! Back during my traveling days (read: youth) I would have loved to attend this event. Considering how stressful modern day university life can be, a day of harmless revelry seems to be just the release needed and a very memorable way to mark the ending of another year.

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    • John, We are all as young as we feel! I am sure you would have loved this parade. Many of us trailed along for a while after the last marching band. It was a great evening. Actual May Day was spent in the Göteborg Botanical Gardens – more serene.

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