In many places in Germany, traditionally a Maypole is set up in time for the 1st of May. That tradition is, I believe, much older than the fact that the 1st of May is a day off (in spite of it being called "Tag der Arbeit", "Day of Work").
Those villages and communities who set up a Maypole usually also have a kind of fête going on for at least on the day itself, sometimes for a whole weekend.
In O.K.'s village, it was a celebration that started on Sunday afternoon with the Maypole and lasted until Monday evening. Of course I had to be there to witness it all! I also helped out a bit, doing a 4-hour-stint along with O.K. and several other people behind the food and drinks counter in the beer tent from 8:00 pm until midnight on the Sunday.
It was all new to me, a bit exciting, and good fun.
Here are the pictures I took of the setting of the Maypole.
Sunday, April 30, just after 3:00 pm - here they come: (Note the low, long white beer tent in the back.)
The village band are gathering in the back. Spectators were lining the main road around the crossing where it all happened.
The tree is brought round the corner to where it is going to be put up.
The men dressed in black and white are carpenters, wearing their traditional uniform.
Metal poles are used to support the big, heavy Maypole with the small tree on top.
It did not look all that heavy to me, but it obviously did take some muscle!
Maybe you can spot the red cable leading from the balcony to the pole. The guys on the balcony were pulling as the guys on the ground were pushing.
Then the pole was up, perfectly straight, displaying the symbols
of the village's various trades and crafts as well as the village crest.
Pink Lady here had been taking photos all the time but was not allowed
near until the pole was securely in place. She had a huge camera and I
took her for someone sent from the local paper, but it turns out she is
the wife or partner of one of the organisers of the whole thing.
all took only about 20 minutes. The sun shone, the band played, people
applauded, and afterwards free glasses of wine were handed out, along with the invitation to come over to the beer tent where more drinks, food (but also home-made cake and coffee) was being served.
It could not have been more perfect!