Celebrate Walpurgisnacht & Burning the Witches with Strange Fellows Brewing
STRANGE DAY #4
WALPURGISNACHT – Harz, Germany
Ring the bells and crack a whip, for this is the night the watches fly! As the sun goes down, look to the sky and you might see them astride goats and broomsticks, flying on their way to the mountaintop. For over 1000 years, they have gathered on this night with the devil himself to recount their evil deeds of the past year. Listen carefully and you may hear the shrieks and howls of their bacchanalian frenzy.
A bundle of herbs tied to your door might keep some witches away, but just to be on the safe side, protect yourself with a glass of Strange Fellows beer* to fend off any evil about.
According to many European folkloric traditions, the night of April 30th is thought to be a tug of war between evil and good, dark and light, the leave of winter and the birth of Spring. Our exhibiting artist, Nikol Haskova who was born in former Czechoslovakia, tells us about the Czech tradition of “Burning the Witches”, where bonfires were lit to ward off the evil witches who congregated on that night. Over the years, this custom evolved into a festive bonfire night, with all the villagers throwing old twigs and branches, witches broomsticks and sometimes even witch effigies, into the flames, each symbolizing winter that the village collectively burned away.
On April 30th, we will celebrate this magical evening in our own fashion. Starting April 24th, we encourage you to drop by for a glass of something special* and rid yourself of something that you have been carrying around all winter – be it a sin, evil thought, or a fear. Write your confession on a tag and affix it to our Tree of Winter, and on the 30th we will purge these sins/thoughts/fears, clearing the way for a lighter Spring. We hope that you will join us for some fun and good beer, and to lighten your load as we move forward into the sun.
*Iain is brewing a German-inspired beer in observance of Walpurgisnacht.