Fire of the Walpurgis Night at Lundsbergs boarding school (April 30, 1912)

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2400 dpi scanned printable image
from 120 x 90 mm. glass negative from Tor Bergeron’s Archive
Photo by Tor Bergeron

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Walpurgis Night, an abbreviation of Saint Walpurgis Night (from the German Sankt Walpurgisnacht, also known as Saint Walpurga’s Eve (alternatively spelled Saint Walburga’s Eve), is the eve of the Christian feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess in Francia, and is celebrated on the night of 30 April and the day of 1 May. This feast commemorates the canonization of Saint Walpurga and the movement of her relics to Eichstätt, both of which occurred on 1 May 870.

Saint Walpurga was hailed by the Christians of Germany for battling “pest, rabies and whooping cough, as well as against witchcraft.” In Germanic folklore, Hexennacht (Dutch: heksennacht), literally “Witches’ Night”, was believed to be the night of a witches’ meeting on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, a range of wooded hills in central Germany between the rivers Weser and Elbe. Christians prayed to God through the intercession of Saint Walpurga in order to protect themselves from witchcraft, as Saint Walpurga was successful in converting the local populace to Christianity. In parts of Christendom, people continue to light bonfires on Saint Walpurga’s Eve in order to ward off evil spirits and witches. Others have historically made Christian pilgrimages to Saint Walburga’s tomb in Eichstätt on the Feast of Saint Walburga, often obtaining vials of Saint Walburga’s oil.

Local variants of Walpurgis Night are observed throughout Europe in the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, and Estonia. In Denmark, the tradition with bonfires to ward off the witches is observed as Saint John’s Eve.

Tor Bergeron (15 August 1891 – 13 June 1977) was a Swedish meteorologist who proposed a mechanism for the formation of precipitation in clouds. In the 1930s, Bergeron and W. Findeisen developed the concept that clouds contain both supercooled water and ice crystals. According to Bergeron, most precipitation is formed as a consequence of water evaporating from small supercooled droplets and accreting onto ice crystals, which then fall as snow, or melt and fall as cold rain depending on the ambient air temperature. This process is known as the Bergeron Process, and is believed to be the primary process by which precipitation is formed.

Bergeron was one of the principal scientists in the Bergen School of Meteorology, which transformed this science by introducing a new conceptual foundation for understanding and predicting weather. While developing innovative methods of forecasting, the Bergen scientists established the notion of weather fronts and elaborated a new model of extratropical cyclones that accounted for their birth, growth, and decay. Bergeron is credited with discovering the occlusion process, which marks the final stage in the life cycle of an extratropical cyclone.

In 1949 he was awarded the Symons Gold Medal of the Royal Meteorological Society. In 1966 he was awarded the prestigious International Meteorological Organization Prize from the World Meteorological Organization.

Lundsbergs boarding school (Swedish: Lundsbergs skola) is a Swedish boarding school located in the Parish of Storfors north of Kristinehamn in Värmland, Sweden. Lundsberg was founded in 1896 with inspirations from classical English boarding schools, and has approximately 200 students today. The school is run by the Lundsbergs school Foundation, Stiftelsen Lundsbergs skola and is well known for its conservative atmosphere.

The school is one of the three elite boarding schools in Sweden. Annual tuition is about £24,000. The cost is subsidized by the state but augmented by parents. The school consists of six dormitories, of which three are boys’ dormitories (Forest Hill, Björke and Gransäter), and three are girls’ dormitories (Klätten, Herrgården and Skogshult).

The school was closed on 28 August 2013 by the Swedish School Inspectorate due problems concerning abuse and bullying. However, on 6 September 2013, the Administrative court in Stockholm decided that the school would be re-opened on 9 September 2013.

Source: Wikipedi

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