The SINReM students celebrated Walpurgis Eve in Uppsala, Sweden

Valborg

The 30th of April, Walpurgis Eve – referred to as ‘Sista april’ or ‘Valborg’ in Swedish – is the celebration of spring arriving in Sweden. In Uppsala it is also the largest student event of the year with the Donning of the Caps at Carolina Rediviva, selfmade boats running the Fyris River, singing at the Gunilla Bell Tower and much more.

Freedom

For students, Walpurgis Eve stands for freedom. Traditionally the exams were over and only the odd lecture remained before the term ends. On the last day of April, the students do their characteristic white caps on and sing songs to welcome spring. The rector appears on the balcony and changes her winter cap to a spring cap.

Honoring spring

Valborg celebrations, particularly among Uppsala students, often consist of enjoying a breakfast including champagne and strawberries. During the day, people gather in parks, drink considerable amounts of alcoholic beverages, barbecue, and generally enjoy the weather, if it happens to be favourable. Since 1975, students are honouring spring by rafting on the Fyrisån through the town center with often humorously decorated rafts. Several nations also hold “Champagne Races” (Swedish: Champagnegalopp), where students go to drink and spray champagne or more modestly priced sparkling wine on each other. The walls and floors of the old nation buildings are covered in plastic for this occasion, as the champagne is poured around recklessly and sometimes spilled enough to wade in. Spraying champagne is, however, a fairly recent addition to the Champagne Race. The name derives from the students running down the downhill slope from the Carolina Rediviva library, toward the Student Nations, to drink champagne.

As student of the SINReM International Master Program you will also experience this celebration!

Students making boats for Walpurgis
Students celebrating Valborg