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Walpurgisnacht Beltane Sabbat

April's Fool to Walpurgisnacht

From April Fool's Day to Walpurgisnacht and Beltane, find out the history and origins of these traditional festivals and customs as well as anniversaries and a what's on guide to events around the world.

April Events Guide

From the Festival of Scarecrows to Walpurgisnacht and World Healing Day, we cover this month's pagan rituals, moots, parties and events. Find out what's on around the world with our April events guide.

April Events

History and Origins

April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day or All Fools' Day is a traditional custom celebrated in many countries on the 1st of April. The day is marked by hoaxes and other practical jokes being played on people with the aim of making 'fools' of them.

April Fool's Day

Beltane

Beltane or Beltaine is an ancient Gaelic holiday celebrated between 30th April and 1st May. In Ireland, by tradition, it marks the first day of summer and indeed gives its name to the whole month of May, called Bealtaine in modern Irish. It is a Cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun's progress between the Vernal Equinox and Summer Solstice. The astronomical date for this midpoint (known as Old Beltane) is slightly later on the 5th of May.

Beltane

Walpurgisnacht

Walpurga's Night (Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish, Vappu in Finnish, Volbriöö in Estonian, Valpurgu nakts or Valpurgi in Latvian, Walpurgisnacht in German) is a holiday celebrated on the 30th of April or the 1st of May, in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Germany.

Walpurgisnacht

Historical Pagan Calendar

Sacred rites of Venus and cross-dressing for fun mark the beginning of April. The name April is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love who was known to the Romans as Venus, and the whole month is sacred to her.

April Calendar

Anniversaries

Faustus

23rd April 1466

According to Dr Ruickbie's new book Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician, Doctor Faustus was born on the 23rd of April 1466. [Find out more]

Salem Witchcraft Trials

3rd to 30th April, 1692

Arrests and further denounciations made, the witchcraft trials in Salem Massachusetts are well underway.

  • 3rd April, 1692: Sarah Cloyce is accused of witchcraft after defending her sister Rebecca Nurse.
  • Early April, 1692: Mary Warren, the Proctors' servant and accuser, admits lying and denounces the other girls making accusations of lying, too.
  • 11th April, 1692: Hathorne and Corwin examine Sarah Cloyce and Elizabeth Proctor. On the same day Elizabeth's husband, John, who protested against the examination of his wife, becomes the first man accused of witchcraft. He is arrested and thrown in jail.
  • 13th April, 1692: Ann Putnam Jr. accuses Giles Cory of witchcraft and alleges that a man who died at Cory's house now haunts her.
  • 19th April, 1692: Abigail Hobbs, Bridget Bishop, Giles Cory and Mary Warren are examined. Deliverance Hobbs confesses to practising witchcraft. Mary Warren recants her statement made in early April.
  • 22nd April, 1692: Hathorne and Corwin examine Nehemiah Abbott, William and Deliverance Hobbs, Edward and Sarah Bishop, Mary Black, Sarah Wildes, Mary English and Mary Easty, another of the sisters of Rebecca Nurse who came to her defence.
  • 30th April, 1692: Several girls accuse former Salem minister George Burroughs of witchcraft.

Church of Satan

30th April, 1966

Anton Szandor LaVey founded the Church of Satan on Walpurgisnacht, the 30th of April, 1966.

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