Beltane, anno 2014 era vulgaris
May Day is closely connected to the evening before it – the “Walpurgisnacht” or May Eve. This day marks the final victory of Spring over Winter, but before departing, the witches and their cohorts have one last fling. Its roots can be found in pre-Christian Frühjahrsfests. Walpurgisnacht is situated directly opposite Halloween and is the end marker in the seasonal cycle which begins with Candlemas/Groundhog Day. Witches’ fires may burn in some places. Since noise was deemed the most effective way to drive off evil spirits many ways of making noise are known. On May Day earth spirits like fairies and elves (the ancient dead) would come out of the hills and barrows to dance on May Eve and well into the summer.
Under Christian influence Walpurgisnacht became a fest to drive out evil spirits. Walpurgis derives its name from Walpurga or Walburga. Walburga, Abbess of Heidenheim near Eichstätt, a Catholic Saint, was known as the protectoress against witchcraft and sorcery 😉