I was here when the locals saw off the wicked spirit of winter (The First Steps 9 March) and now everywhere I go I see the villages and towns are celebrating the coming of the new season. (Even if it is taking longer than they expected.) And like England the Schwaben have a May pole.
The Hausen an der Lauchert Maibaum is right at the bottom of my street, next to this highly perched Church which happens to have one of the most charming cemeteries I have ever seen.
|They start to get fancy in Langenenslingen|
|Our neighbour (and Georg's territory) Magerkingen|
I have spoken to several people and there is no real explanation for the Maibaum "it is a tradition". But an excuse for a party and some drinking is always given as a good reason to have them!!
They are Germany wide so they are not just Schwabische. Apparently villages do often compete on the height and straightness of the Baum. They go up on the 1st May and remain the whole month.
My teacher, Reinhold, confessed as a young man having put one in his girlfriend's garden. (This too is part of the "tradition" and I see single trees quite often.)
And on the eve of May 1 the children go around the village playing practical jokes. There is no Trick or Treat. Quite the opposite. The point is not to be caught out.
But as I pointed out in an earlier blog, these villages are all within a few kilometers of each other, so it is lovely to drive around and see these Maibaum. It gives a sense of wider community and shared experiences. On a (currently rare) sunny day they are a quaint and eccentric delight to me.
Oh, as an extra visual delight for you here is where I am living till the end of the year. In the video I refer to my balcony. At the moment it is Bear who spends the most time there. But when it warms up I expect to have many a gin and tonic (or perhaps a Schnapps) out there on the long summer evenings when the sheep are safely tucked up in their pen.