If you think it’s unfair that there’s only one Halloween per year, then a trip to Germany on the last night of April will lift your broomstick.
Walpurgisnacht is celebrated across northern Europe and Scandinavia, heralding the arrival of spring and the feast day of Saint Walpurga on 1 May, but its pagan roots run deep, especially in the Harz Mountains of Saxony-Anhalt.
Here, its towns still mark the night witches and warlocks were said to gather on Brocken Mountain, and bonfires were lit by fearful peasants to ward them off.
These days, locals are more on the witches’ side, dressing as devils and crones to dance around the fires at the Hexentanzplatz (‘witches’ dance floor’) in Thale, which attracts some 35,000 visitors each year.
Other celebrations can be found in the nearby towns of Goslar and Wernigerode, where the storming of the town hall is one of the more unusual traditions. Live music and plenty of craft and food stalls ensure the festivities continue for a few days, but events rarely top the mischief of that first night.