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April's Fool to Walpurgisnacht
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.
Always confirm place and date in advance. Most events will charge for your attendance. To have your event listed here contact us.
Le Carnaval des Soufflets (The Carnival of Bellows)
The town of Nontron in France celebrates the Bellows Festival (le Carnaval des Soufflets). Revellers dress up in nightshirts, cotton caps, clogs, masks and, of course, come armed with bellows. The tradition dates back to the Middle Ages and the magical folk custom of using bellows to blow away evil spirits.
- Dates: 1st Saturday of April.
- Location: Nontron, Dordogne, France.
- Contact: Nontron Tourist Office, Rue de Verdun, 24300 Nontron. Telephone +33 (0) 5 53 56 25 50.
Fete de Epeutnaerts (Festival of Scarecrows)
Since waking up in 1989 to find the town overrun with scarecrows (épeutnaerts in the local dialect) the inhabitants of Moringhem decided to make this a yearly event.
Alder Stand Coven Beltaine
Dance round the Maypole in this delightful cherry orchard to celebrate the season with Germany's Alder Stand Coven. But advance booking is required.
- Dates: 29th to 30th April
- Location: Geisenheim, near Mainz, Hessen.
- Contact: Telephone Pandora + 49 (0)6722-7506752.
Burg Satzvey Hexenmarkt und Hexentanz
(Witches Market and Festival at Castle Satzvey)
"Mittelelalterliche Hexen- und Musikshow auf zwei Bühnen mit vielen Künstlern und dem Tanz um das größte Hexenfeuer des Rheinlandes." Stalls, various bands and a special programme for Walpurgisnacht in the grounds of a medieval moated castle.
- Dates: 29th April to 1st May
- Location: Burg Satzvey, near Bonn.
- Contact: Burg Satzvey, An der Burg 3, D-53894 Mechernich-Satzvey. Telephone + 49 (0)2256 95 830. Website
Das Hexenbrennen (The Witch-burning)
"In Göda bei Bautzen wird durch Mitglieder des Deutsch-Sorbischen Volkstheaters eine Gerichtsverhandlung über die „Stara Jeba“ (alte Hexe), verkörpert durch eine Strohpuppe, inszeniert. In dieser Verhandlung wird sie für alles Schlechte im vergangenen Jahr angeklagt und muß dafür im Feuer büßen." (Source: http://www.bautzen.bz/index.php?site=regionales_details&objekt_ID=61)
- Dates: 30th April
- Location: Göda, Bautzen, near Dresden.
- Contact: Bautzen.de.
Hexentanz Festival (Witchdance Festival)
"In der historischen Altstadt Ottweiler das Hexentanz-Festival mit historischem Mittelaltermarkt statt." Medieval rock festival featuring bands like Corvus Corax. The historic old town of Ottweiler will also play host to a medieval market.
- Dates: end of April
- Location: Ottweiler, Saarland.
- Contact: Frank Schulz, Hauptstrasse 22, 66564 Mainzweiler. Telephone +49 (0)68 24 70 05 00. Website hexentanz-festival.de.
Walpurgisnacht im Harz
Various events throughout the Harz region. See the website below for details on the festivities planned for each village.
- Dates: 30th April
- Location: Harz.
- Contact: Walpurgis.de.
Walpurgis - Die Nacht der Hexen (The Night of the Witches)
From 3pm to midnight the Kurpark in Schierke transforms itself into a Witches' Sabbat. The day opens with a children's programme, but as it grows dark Teufelsmusik can be heard drifting down from the lonely Brocken. The Medieval folkrockers Spilwut put on a dramatic re-enactment of the Witches' Sabbat. Rock shows, dance music, food and beer stands and an explosive finale give this event something for everyone.
Walpurgisnacht auf dem Hexentanzplatz
(Walpurga's Night at the Witches' Dancing Place)
From 3pm to after midnight the infamous Hexentanzplatz above Thale glows to the light of bonfires and rocks to the sound of music and laughter. Theatre, rock bands, Radio SAW Live, a Walpurgis Fantasy, Mythenrevue, and fireworks keep the party going into the wee small hours.
Day of the Devils
The isolated village of Prizzi, lying in the picturesque heart of Sicily, plays scene to the cosmic struggle between good and evil every Easter. Villagers wearing huge, grotesque iron masks perform 'The Dance of the Devils'.
- Dates: 9-16 April.
- Location: Prizzi, Sicily, Italy.
- Contact: Pro-Loco Hippana, Piazza F. Crispi 90038 Palermo Italy. Telephone +39 091 8346901. E-mail email@example.com.
Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival
Since the mid-1980s the Beltane Fire Festival has been held every year on the night of 30th April on Edinburgh's Calton Hill. A spectacular procession inspired by our mythic past draws a crowd of upwards of 15,000 when Calton Hill, with its neo-classical folly, becomes Scotland's Stonehenge.
- Dates: 30th April.
- Location: Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Contact: Beltane Fire Society, 19 Leven Street, Tollcross, Edinburgh EH3 9LH. Telephone +44 (0)131 228 5353 . E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birmingham Beltane Celebration
Family-friendly celebration held by the Midlands' Pagan Association with picnic, games, dancing round the Maypole and short Beltane ceremony.
- Dates: 30th April.
- Location: Moseley Bog, Yardley Wood Road, Birmingham, England.
- Contact: Telephone +44 (0)7905 052954. Website paganassociation.co.uk.
Croydon Beltane Witches Sabbat
The Children of Artemis are holding their Beltane Witches' Sabbat, an open ritual to which all are welcome. There will be a facinating introductory talk on the sabbat and the meaning of the ritual itself. The experienced ritual team will then perform a traditional style Witchcraft/Wiccan ritual which you are invited to participate in. Guests are advised to bring food and drink to share after the ritual.
- Dates: 27th April.
- Location: Fairfield Halls, Croydon, South London, England.
- Contact: BM Artemis, London, WC1N 3XX . Telephone +44 (0)870 442 290 or +44 (0)870 442 7290.
London Beltane Bash
Pagans, Witches, Wiccans, Druids, Odinists and Shamans gather at London's Conway Hall to welcome the summer. This extraordinary annual celebration of the changing seasons begins with an Opening Ritual and features the Pagan Pride Parade. The festivities close with a Grand Beltane Ritual.
Wimbourne Spring Festival
Family weekend of talks, workshops, complementary therapies, craft stalls and live music held at Gaunts House in Dorset.
- Dates: end of April.
- Location: Gaunts House, Wimbourne, Dorset, UK.
- Contact: Gaunts House. Telephone +44 (0) 1202 841 522. E-mail email@example.com.
St Stupid's Day Parade
The April Fool gets sanctified: St Stupid is the patron saint of the First Church of the Last Laugh, presided over by Supreme Pontiff Joey. The madness begins at the Embarcadero Plaza, San Francisco, where revellers in costume, carrying 'noise makers', flags, confetti and with a Devil-may-care attitude congregate.
- Dates: 1st April.
- Location: Embarcadero Plaza, San Francisco, USA.
- Contact: San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, 201 3rd St, Suite 900 San Francisco, CA 94103-3185. Telephone +1 415 391 2000. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apache Rattlesnake Festival
Every year Apache in Oklahoma throws a huge party in honour of the rattlesnake. The event features hundreds of stalls, an Indian Medicine Man, Country and Western band, a carnival, snake pit and, for those with strong stomachs, the opportunity to try fried rattlesnake meat.
- Dates: 14-16 April
- Location: Apache, Oklahoma, USA.
- Contact: Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation, 15 N Robinson, Suite 801, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. Telephone +1 405 521 3981. E-mail email@example.com.
The annual event dedicated to raising awareness of ecological issues. Special events take place all over the city of Washington DC and especially at the Mall where rallies and speakers gather.
- Dates: 22nd April.
- Location: Washington DC, USA.
- Contact: Earth Day Network, 1616 P St NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036 USA. Telephone +1 202 518 0044. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Body, Soul and Spirit Expo
The Body, Soul and Spirit Expo at Calgary's Big Four Building in Stampede Park is Canada's largest and longest-running alternative healing event. On show are a wide range of alternative therapies, natural remedies, astrology, intuitive arts and others with belly dancing and Buddhist chanting for light relief.
- Dates: 21st-23rd April.
- Location: Stampede Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Contact: Telephone +1 403 246 0668. E-mail email@example.com.
Pagan Freedom Day Celebration
Celebrating religious freedom for Pagans in South Africa, this event features esoteric stalls, drumming circle, divination, pumpkin carving, competitions, talks and more. The end of April is also Samhain (Hallowe'en) in the Southern Hemisphere.
World Healing Day
At various venues around the world people gather to 'heal' the world through prayer, dance, ritual and magic.
- Dates: 24th April.
- Location: various venues around the world.
- Contact: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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