What is a Maypole? This is the first thing I noticed when I arrived in this region. this is a huge blue and white pole painted with the colors of Bavaria. It is built in the centre of every Bavarian town or village and is the pride of its inhabitants.
A new Maypole for Föching
May 1, 2018 – 10 a.m:
The last May tree was settled 5 years ago, so today comes again the turn of Föching, a small Bavarian village.
Today is a great day, a new tree will be brought. Everyone is dressed up in the traditional outfits, the Dirndl for women and the Lederhosen for men. During the last three months, the men of the city’s association have been working on this new Maypole.
Between February and April, they will select a tree, trim it, shape it and paint it. They regularly gather in the evenings to work, share some drinks and dance. On the D-Day, they are proud to show their work to the whole community.
Because the tree is certainly a Bavarian symbol but it is also a competition between villages. You need to have the biggest and most beautiful maypole to impress your neighbors! But this is not all with the competition. Expeditions are organized to steal the pole of the neighboring villages. If one tree is stolen, the village will have to pay a ransom: a hug amount of beer and roast pork. So the pole is supervised very carefully but despite the attention, this year, a theft was committed in the area.
Attachment to tradition
When we arrived at the event, we first had the impression of stepping back in time. Indeed, the village has farms and the architecture is made of wood, in the Bavarian traditional way. They were so many people wearing the traditional outfits and the traditional Bavarian music was all over the place. Beer and schnapps were on every table and we could smell the grilled meat all around. It was definitely party time!
The installation of the famous Maypole
Setup starts at 10am. Nowdays a around 20-meters-long-tree and weighing several tons would be easy to install with current technologies. Here, the men of the association have to set the tree up with the strength of their arms and the only help of trunks with wooden handles on one side and ropes on the other.
All the participants were respecting the orders of the person in charge and each gesture was orchestrated precisely to obtain the best result.
It took about four hours for about fifty men to set up this new Maypole! Other villages in the surrounding area will renew theirs in the coming years, but for Föching, see you in 2023!
Bis bald 😘
Maypole : What Wikipedia Says About It
You wish to consult another article? Read Looking back on the first month