Learning to Live in Germany Attend a Maypole Celebration in Bavaria

Maibaumaufstellen mit Maifest, I. Mai 2017 in Puch Germany
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Puch, Germany

We recently heard about an Bavarian tradition that is celebrated in most small towns in Germany.  The local people get dressed in their costumes and all come out to witness the maypole being hoisted upright in the town center (If you look really close in the photo above on the left side, you can see the pole is being put into position).

Since as far back as the 13th century, young men who reside in the town have gone out and cut a tall straight pine from the forest and then they hide it away. You can see how the young men of Puch, Germany did it this year by checking out their Facebook page here: Maibaumverein PuchBe sure to scroll down and view some of the posts that show the process and how the obtained the new maypole.

The men peel it, paint it, and decorate it to represent the town. While they are doing this, other villages try to find out the secret hiding spot of the maypole and steal it away. If this happens, then they negotiate its return in beer and food. You can read all about the tradition here: Maypole Day in Bavaria.

We decided to join in the festivities so we went to the village of Puch, Germany. Here are some of the pictures we took on our way to the celebration.

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The advertisement below was on a public bulletin board that provides information, dates, and times regarding the maypole celebration. It is quite common in Germany to find paper poster advertisements for various celebrations that are going to be happening– posted around the villages. We also noticed that they are always promptly removed once the celebration is over–as soon as the next day.

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As we continued to Puch and came upon the the celebration, the pictures below depict what we saw. Feel free to view a few of them in the slide show.

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In order to demonstrate the various stages of how they raise this huge 35 meter maypole by hand–we created another slideshow below. This is not a fast process and it is very delicate work (imagine working with something 35 meters high, which is 114.8 feet).

Long poles are used with rope in order to slowly gain leverage to hoist and support the maypole into its upright position. We noticed there are three separate pairs of hoisting poles with ropes that cradle the weight of the maypole. During each stage, two of the three sections are held into place while the third one is moved down in order to continue hoisting the maypole upwards. These pole sections also brace the maypole from the ground to hold it in place while they are preparing for the next lift.

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Please note in the pictures–delicate woodworking, ribbons, signs, wreathes, and local craftsman’s guilds that show the services and industries offered in the town. These poles are painted blue and white–the traditional colors of Bavaria. You can view the different stages and guilds in the pictures below:

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Check out the amazing details!

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In a little under two hours–the finished product!

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Check out this Maibaumverein Puch Video

Here is a 27 second video we took today of the final lift of the maypole in Puch Germany. Click here to view it live: Maibaumverein Puch.

We hope you enjoyed learning about May 1st in this wonderful little village in Bavaria. Please feel free to share our blog with your friends and family.

Auf Wiedersehen for now!

All photo’s courtesy of Lance Benson

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2 thoughts on “Learning to Live in Germany Attend a Maypole Celebration in Bavaria

  1. Thank you for sharing those beautifully taken photographs and story of the Maypole. It is all so beautiful and interesting to me. Thank you Cous’s!
    Glad to see your life is so full of adventure and vitality, God Bless you both, Love to you Both.
    Peter

    Like

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