On friday it’s again the First of May – and the night before it’s Walpurgis Night. And just like in many german and european communities both are celebrated in Berlin. However – you might have heard already that Walpurgis Night and especially First of May have a bit their own ‘rituals’. I’ll try to explain a bit about it – and later I’ll add a page about Berlin First of May and Berlin Walpurgis Night to the info pages.
First I should probably say that on First of May some areas are not quite safe. There are not really any no-go areas – but instead there is a strange tradition of having riots in the streets of Berlin – especially in Kreuzberg – but also in some areas of Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte. But who is rioting? And why? Hard to say.
Berlin’s First of May Riots
As far as I know it all started back in the kate eighties (May 1st 1987) when a peaceful public neighbourhood party at Kreuzberg’s Lausitzer Platz got overrun by police – and people reacted not quite amused. Police actually decided they had to withdraw from Kreuzberg. Since then at least for police forces Kreuzberg can be a ‘difficult’ terrain to go – at least on First of May.
The best place to go nowadays on First of May would probably be the so called MyFest (www.myfest36.de) in Kreuzberg. Over the years people got sick and tired of all the rioting and the best alternative seems to be to have – again – a peaceful neighbourhood party. So there will be some stages with live bands playing and for sure there’s gonna be some street food to snack. But anyways – be aware there can be complications.
Walpurgis Night in Berlin
Further information on Walpurgis Night traditions: