A Beginner’s Guide to Valborg in Lund 2024

As a first-year student in Lund, I have been eagerly looking forward to the celebration of Valborg since receiving my letter of admission. For those of you who are about to experience their first Valborg in Sweden, the holiday is celebrated throughout the country on the 30th of April. However, as many cities settle for…

Allie Blomqvist Avatar

As a first-year student in Lund, I have been eagerly looking forward to the celebration of Valborg since receiving my letter of admission. For those of you who are about to experience their first Valborg in Sweden, the holiday is celebrated throughout the country on the 30th of April. However, as many cities settle for calm gatherings around large bonfires accompanied by choiring, Lund does not. Instead, from Skvalborg (28th of April) to Finalborg (1st of May) our small town offers a citywide, festival-like, celebration. The density of house parties, events hosted by the nations, and the gathering in Stadsparken compel alumni, as well as students from other cities to pilgrimage to partake in the activities. 

However, the prospect of the upcoming weekend left me like a kid in a candy store, bewildered and overwhelmed by the abundance of opportunities. As the days passed, I realized that my wavering had led me to miss yet another ticket release. With the intention to aid both myself and others who find themselves in the same predicament, I’ve compiled this article. It provides a short overview of the Swedish holiday, advice from veterans, as well as a schedule for the upcoming events at Lunds different nations.

A Brief History Lesson

It is no surprise that the students in Lund commit to the holiday wholeheartedly, as the holiday has partial origins in local student traditions. However Valborg, like many other Swedish traditions, is originally rooted in the imported celebration of a foreign saint. This time the saint in question is Anglo-German and named Walpurgis. Active in the 8th century as a missionary and nun in Germany, the former princess is considered the first German and English female author. 

Through her work, she became the focus of prayer for protection against rabies, pests and most notably witchcraft. Therefore, in the Middle Ages (when witch-hunting really became à la mode) the date of her canonization became Sankt Walpurgisnacht (or Valborgsmässoafton), where the Germans lit large bonfires to deter witches and evil spirits. 

The Swedes adopted the tradition in the 15th century and merged it with their celebration of the 1st of May, which marked the farmers’ official beginning of summer. Around this time, the livestock was released out to their summer pastures, and the bonfires’ purpose instead became to fend off predators. During this time, the Swedes were probably equally enthusiastic in warding off flying witches with bonfires as the Germans were. However, with the fires lit during Easter, they had already gotten their main warding out of the way. Therefore the Valborg bonfires had little to do with witches, contrary to common belief.  

Initially, the celebration of Valborg appears to have been particularly favored in the southern parts of Sweden, and students at Lund University celebrated the holiday as early as 1668. However, the festivities didn’t start to resemble today’s celebration until the 19th century, when the working class and students created their take on the festivities. This is the version that became more popularized and, perhaps, less solemn, as alcohol was granted a more prominent role.

A Valborg How-To

Valborg in Lund offers an opportunity to engage in a tradition that dates back half a millennium, but also lots of fun. With the aim to prepare you with information to make the most out of this holiday, I have sought outside counsel from seasoned students on how to make the most out of the weekend ahead. Here is their compiled advice: 

  • Get a head start and plan your weekend. Tickets to the events are released several weeks in advance, and Stadsparken fills up quickly during the 30th. 
  • Work your connections. Students living at the nations are often offered to pre-purchase a certain amount of tickets, and even if they are not interested in selling theirs, they might know someone who is.
  • If you have your sight set on an event with an in-person ticket release, prepare to queue. Allegedly you should aim for 24 hours of queuing to ensure that you secure tickets to the events held by the nations. 
  • Gear up: a rain poncho or blanket (depending on the weather), provisions, and most importantly, a brassestol are useful utilities for a comfortable celebration in Stadsparken.

Valborg Schedule at Lunds Nations:

28th of April, Skvalborg

Sydskånska Nation

Line up: Medina

Ticket release: April 5th, Sydskånska Nationen

29th of April, Kvalborg 

Lunds Nation 

Line-up: Frans, Albin Johnsén & Jakob Karlberg, Norlie KKV

Ticket release: April 2nd, STUK

Hallands and Västgöta Nation Nation

Line-up: Reyn, Movits 

Ticket release: April 3rd, Hallands Nation

30th of April, Valborg 

Kristianstad and Sydskånska Nation

Line-up: TBA

Ticket release: TBA

Östgöta Nation

Line-up: aNtik and DJ

Ticket release: April 4th, Östgöta Nations gillestuga 

Helsingkrona Nation

Line up: Loam, Elov & Beny, Brandsta City Släckers 

Ticket release: Already took place – check with friends for resale tickets

Malmö Nation

Line up: Timbuktu, Hemlig Klubben, DJ Large, Julimar Santos, Esther Kirabo, Kapellet, MLN DJs

Ticket release: April 6th, Malmö Nations courtyard 

1st of May, Finalborg 

Göteborgs Nation

Line up: TBA 

Ticket release: April 9th, STUK

Disclaimer: Additional events may be added. The schedule is compiled of information provided by answering quratels, and the nations’ social channels.

About Nådiga Lundtan

Founded in 1948 and has since been an important part of student life in the economics program at Lund University. Nådiga Lundtan covers a wide range of topics related to economics, society, and politics, as well as careers, entrepreneurship, and innovation. It is a platform for students to share their ideas and opinions on economics and related fields.

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