GERMANY – “Walpurgis” Festival

GERMANY – “Walpurgis” Festival

The German action of “Celebrating Seasons” was hosted by Peter Kaiser for Bildungshaus Heideland Heimvolkshochschule im Landkreis Delitzsch e.V, which is an Adult Education organisation in the North West of Saxony providing Voctaional and non-formal education. They are part of the Junior Ranger network that deals with the young people in the Dübener Heide Region.

They run adult education prgrammes for Forest Management and Protected Landscape, using wild herbs for food and treatments and training in old crafts and local traditions as well as organising a series of local festivals in the Region like Holzskulpturensommer and Pechfest. For this, they contact and use a big range of local partners. They have participated in European exchange since 1997 andhost Leonardo da Vinci trainees and trainers, also culture groups from Belarus and the Ukraine and provide learning opportunities for them in the activities of the region.

In the Dübener Heide the population is decreasing as there are no good job opportunities for young people. The Region is not too far from prosperous regions like Halle and Leipzig but it is just too far to travel daily. The main demographic group leaving the region are qualified females as there are better career opportunities for them in cities. This will create big problems for our region in the future. Our programme will work mainly with women of the region seeking to re-enter education and who have little opportunity for European exchange. Our participants include farmers, unemployed, migrants from Russia and the handicap workshop in Torgau. They will all be fully engaged in organizing the Wallpurgisnacht action in Germany and will in turn participate in partner actions within this Grundtvig project.

In April, 4 UK participants went to Germany for a week to see the build up to the “Walpurgis” Festival. They were welcomed in Berlin by Peter, who took them on a tour around Berlin while waiting for the other participants to arrive. Once everyone was together, they were taken to the Dubener Heide area to start their week. Trips included visiting places such as

  • Leipzig where the group were shown round St Nicholas and St Thomas Churches
  • Gorschltz where the group learned about the last withc in Saxony
  • Torgau where the group got to take in the late gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture of the city.