Raising the maypole is one of the best-known traditions in the Chiemsee-Chiemgau region. As part of a hearty festival on May 1st, a tree decorated with carved wooden figures is erected in many communities. The wooden figures depict the crafts in the region.
Today's traditions around putting up the maypole
The night before it is erected is particularly exciting for local clubs, because stealing the maypole is one of the traditions surrounding the festivities. Young men from different places try to steal each other's maypoles. The exact procedure varies from location to location, but what is certain is that a stolen tree must be bought back with natural resources such as beer. The tree is then ceremoniously returned to the actual owners.
In Bavaria, a high coniferous tree is usually used for the custom, all branches of which are sawn off in order to decorate it afterwards. Creativity can be given free rein with the decoration, because both the painting in the Bavarian colors of blue and white and natural trees, whose bark is often decorated with carvings, are an integral part of the tradition. In addition, the maypole gets a “ crown”, a wreath of maypole tops and metal or wooden signs. These show craftsmen and trades and mostly also the church, the town hall and the school of the place.
Bachelors to the front! The "Liebesmaien" is a small tree that unmarried men leave in front of their loved ones' houses to express their affection. The trees are often decorated with messages for the loved one. The "Liebesmaien" stays for about a month before the bachelor picks it up again. If the atempt is successful, the lady of your heart will issue an invitation.