23 April 2024

The Walpurgis celebration will, as is customary, include songs and speeches to spring and donning of caps with the Linköping University Male Voice Choir in Borggården outside Linköping Castle. This year, the Walpurgis tradition celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The choir at the walpurgis celebration
Linköping University Male Voice Choir marching. Linköpings studentsångare

Every Walpurgis celebration, the Linköping University Male Voice Choir is reinforced with former members who are happy to return to Linköping to participate in the traditional festivities. It is possible to determine the vintage of these previous students by the degree of yellowing of their student caps.

The choir consists mainly of students from Linköping University (LiU), but also LiU alumni and other talented singers from the region. The choir is part of Music at LiU and is led by conductor Jakob Grubbström, who is also director musices at Linköping University.

In 1974, the Linköping University Male Voice Choir sang in Borggården for the first time to welcome spring. Back then, the choir was called LihKören and consisted of some 20 young men wearing black college sweaters and either regular student caps or technology student caps, and the audience consisted of some 10 academics.

The choir then performed under the lead of Jan Tengström. Legend has it that the first person to make a speech on the occasion of the arrival of spring was the driver of the county governor. He allegedly opened a window and asked the choir to be quiet, as the county governor was taking a midday nap. Every Walpurgis celebration since then, the Linköping University Male Voice Choir has performed at Borggården. Nowadays, Borggården is on this occasion filled with an excited audience longing for spring, often consisting of around a thousand people, regardless of the weather.

This year's speakers are Ann Holmlid, County Director in Östergötland, and Anna Wikström, chair of StuFF, the student association for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Linköping University.

Ann Holmlid standing in a park
Ann Holmlid, County Director in Östergötland

Portrait of a smiling Anna Wikström photographed outside in front of a tree
Anna Wikström, chair of StuFF, the student association for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Major celebration at colleges and universities

Walpurgis is one of the most prominent celebrations at most institutions of higher education, both in Finland and in Sweden. It is on 30 April that the students don their student caps, or summer caps, in cases where the caps differ according to the season. In Linköping, students don their caps while in unison shouting out a joyful ‘Hurrah!’ after the first song.

Programme for Walpurgis celebration, 30 April 2024

12.30 pm - Walk with the student orchestra LiThe Blå's music parade through the city. They will stop for a concert in Trädgårdsföreningen at 1:30 p.m. The parade then continues up to Borggården where they finish at 3 p.m.

3 pm - Linköping University Male Voice Choir greets spring at Borggården, Linköping Castle. The concert will include traditional spring-themed songs, the hat-donning ceremony and speeches.

 

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