After Valentine’s Day, May 1st is the next feast for lovebirds – in some parts of Germany that is. One of the sweetest customs is pursued from April 30th to May 1st: dance into May it is called. Groups of people meet and drink and dance until after midnight. Meanwhile, lovebirds as well as those who are secretly in love, prepare for their mission “set maypole”. The maypole is bought and decorated with creped papers by boys and set in front of the girls’ house. The girls take a wooden panel and prettify it with their partner’s initials. When in leap year, the custom is reversed. Still, many boys and men insist on setting a tree instead of a wooden panel. The trees are secretly placed at nighttime so that the beloved one will be surprised the following day. In the morning of May 1st, lucky girls see their boys’ declaration of love in the form of maypoles. Winding up the festivities, villager take a walk around the neighborhood accompanied by an orchestra – up front, the May Queen goes hand in hand with her King.
Thankfully, this year’s May 1st has been introduced by nothing but pure sunshine. The large maypoles up high shine colorful and make the streets look smiley, their leaves blowing in the wind.
There are so many ways to show how much we care about each other. The littlest things might become a tradition one day. If you hold on to the universal traditions as well as your individual customs of showing love, we have a whole lot of reasons to remember and celebrate the significance of love.
Did you set a maypole? Do you believe in little traditions like this one?
-your tiny woman in a giant world