Germany’s Walpurgisnacht Witches
Walpurgisnacht is celebrated in Germany on 30 April (Beltane or May Eve). On this night witches are thought to fly to a plateau on Brocken Mountain deep in the Harz Mountains. (At 1141 metres, The Brocken is the highest peak in the Harz Mountains). The plateau is known as the Hexentanzplatz, the witches’ dancing place. In the eighteenth-century German maps almost always depicted witches on broomsticks converging upon the Brocken; and it is here that Goethe set the witches’ sabbat in his Faust (1808, 1832). By the turn of the century a thriving tourist industry had prompted the publication of numerous witch-themed postcards. The following five cards, featuring sexy witches, date from 1899 to 1901. Note the various modes of ‘transport’ used by the witches!