Friday, June 13, 2008

May Fest

Our neighboring town had a little May Fest Celebration on the 1st of May. They erected the town's May Pole, which is the main event. Each Bavarian town has its own May Pole that gets replaced every few years. Each may pole has a height of at least 30 meters (about 100 feet). The may pole lies in town while it is being worked on before its erection, and traditionally, there are guards around the pole at all times to keep neighboring villages from stealing it. If they are successful at stealing the pole, is it returned after some negotiations involving beer and food. The celebration began at 10 am and likely didn't end until late into the evening. We left before the May Pole was erected because it started to rain and kids were being pills. Perhaps we'll see it next year. I found a bit more info about may poles to share with you below.

If the maypole survives all of these dangers then positioning begins. An unwritten law is that this should be accomplished only by physical strength. For this purpose, the entire village of men are mobilized. This is a traditional event which takes place on only one day of the year and so the entire villages comes together to celebrate this tradition in a big festival. Before erecting the maypole, the mayor of the village says a few words to the assembled villagers. After that the Reverend blesses the tree and then command is assumed by the "maypole chief". With commands such as Hauruck and Zugleich and with the aid of so called Schwalben the tree gets higher and higher. As soon as it is upright it is fixed in place. The band then plays for the traditional May dance. The festivities continue until late into the evening with plenty to eat and drink.

The May PoleCheers!

Mmm... Fish on a Stick


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