Uppsala’s Valborg is an original student celebration like no other in Sweden. Overall, it consists of tens of thousands of students cramming in the parks within the city all celebrating sista april or the last of April.
While the official Valborg is celebrated on the 30th of April, the Kvalborg (qualifying party) takes place the night before. Even the week before students are preparing for Valborg craziness!
Valborg in Uppsala has been celebrated for centuries and students in particular have made this event so historic. In the early 1800s the celebrations took place at the castle where songs, cheers and drinking marked the evening. As the years went on, the celebration morphed into a full student affair where the entire university population took part. (Uppsala University, Sista April, “Walpurgis”)
One of the most popular events, the rafting (forsränning) down Uppsala’s Fyris river, was added to the celebration in the 1970s. This popular traditions involves groups of students representing organizations or clubs who build their own rafts (made out of foam) to sail down the river the morning of Valborg.
The other events of the day include a champagne breakfast (porridge and champagne), sillunch (lunch of herring), mösspåtagningen (where recent graduates through their white caps in the air) and you cannot forget the champagnegalopp (a champagne race where, basically, you buy a bottle of champagne and spray it on each other).
All of these festivities are followed by barbecues in the parks and parties all over the city as well as in all of the student nations and restaurants.
But of course, in genuine Swedish style, one night of crazy Valborg partying is not enough. Tonight is Kvalborg is the newest addition to the student celebration. The qualifying party, or night before Valborg has is a popular warm up to the event.
Students fill the streets partying to warm up for the next day. Most nations have special pub nights or popular bands scheduled.
But not to worry, if you are not in Uppsala, or Sweden for that matter, and don’t want to miss out on a party of a lifetime (because that’s what it will be!) you can still join us. Not only does Uppsala have a live webcam from the castle showing a little of the craziness, but also there is live footage of the river race that goes on tomorrow, Saturday April 30th at 10:00am.
For more on whats going on in Uppsala check out the official schedule!