Alternatives for 30 April

22 April 2021

The 30 April (Walpurgis Eve) celebrations are cancelled for the second year in a row, and of course this is disappointing. But perhaps it can open the way for creative solutions. Nature, Digitalborg and a choir app that allows you to sing along are a few alternatives for 30 April this year.

When the decision was taken in January 2021 to cancel the traditional Walpurgis Eve celebrations in Uppsala, the University’s Vice-Chancellor Anders Hagfeldt observed:

“30 April and the donning of the caps at Carolina Rediviva is a tradition that is strongly associated with Uppsala and a day we all look forward to. We had hoped to be able to celebrate as usual this year, but regrettably this is impossible given the current infection situation. This will be another year when we have to call upon our students and staff to find alternative ways to greet the spring.”

Cooperation to minimise transmission

The 30 April (Walpurgis Eve) celebrations in Uppsala are not organised by any single actor. They consist of a great variety of activities with different organisers. To coordinate all these events, the project Walpurgis Collaboration encompasses some forty organisations and companies that cooperate ahead of Walpurgis Eve each year. This year, of course, Walpurgis Collaboration is working to encourage everyone to greet the spring without risking increased transmission of the coronavirus.

“Our ambition is to ensure that Uppsala residents follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s pandemic response recommendations and of course to avoid attracting visitors,” says Anna Gozzi, project manager for Walpurgis Collaboration at Destination Uppsala. “I believe Uppsala residents will be sensible and greet the spring at home or outdoors with the people they live with or meet regularly to reduce the spread of infection and the burden on the health services.”

Welcome spring outdoors

The main message from Walpurgis Collaboration is “Only 12 months to go till Walpurgis” and all the participating organisations are communicating this message via their various channels, particularly social media aimed at distinct target groups.

“We hope all staff and students will help to support this ambition. This is important so as not to increase COVID-19 transmission even more,” says Pernilla Björk, Director of Communications at Uppsala University.

Instead of the traditional 30 April events, this year other options are available.

“This year I would like to encourage everyone who is well and does not want to stay at home to explore all the beautiful nature spots around Uppsala. Welcome spring outdoors in natural surroundings with those you love,” says Gozzi.

Virtual River Rafting

Many people of course associate 30 April with the Running of the Falls (River Rafting). To make sure we don’t miss all the crazy rafts too much, the Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science Students, which organises the River Rafting, has coined the term ‘Digitalborg’. At the traditional time of 10:00 on 30 April, you can enjoy this year’s version of the River Rafting virtually, from your sofa at home. Eight participants will be put through multiple challenges along the Fyris River. Note that only the organisers know where the participants will be.

The Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science Students will also carry out a virtual version of the traditional Duck Day event, intended for families with children. You can order a Duck Bag with games and activities and find various experiments on the website. All receipts from Duck Day will go directly to Uppsala University Hospital’s Children’s Fund.

As everyone knows, it’s traditional to sing in the spring. Uppsala University has therefore developed a choir app for mobile phones. The choir consists of a quartet of avatars who perform a spring repertoire of four spring songs and of course you can sing along. The app will be available for free download for Android and iPhone in time for 30 April.