Last night, the 30th of April, Valborg, or Walpurgis Night as it is known in English, was celebrated here in Sweden.
Originally this was the eve before the feast day of Saint Walpurga, but in Sweden the event has become associated with the end of Winter and the arrival of Spring.
Bonfires are lit, symbolizing light driving out darkness, and the coming of warmer days.
I celebrated by lighting candles, and drinking Wu Yi Shan Qi Lan. Black dragons bathing in my gaiwan on the night of a thousand bonfires. What could be better?
I started the session as the last of the daylight began to fade, the tea liquor appearing almost flame red in the flickering candlelight.
Valborg is also associated with witches and magic, especially in Germany, and there was definitely something extra in the air. The tea had never tasted better – warming, spicy, and comforting.
Darkness fell as I sipped the final infusion (the 6th?, 7th?), and I sat there in the warm glow of the candles, thinking about the winter we had finally seen off, and the good times in the sun to come…