Maibaum – Maypole

I took this snap a while back while driving through South Germany, sometime just after May. It’s what the Germans call a Maibaum – roughly translated as maypole.

I would not even pretend to know the ins and outs of maypoles in Germany – I think the traditions change a bit depending on where you are in Germany. In general they are erected to celebrate the various trades (plumber, carpenter, etc.), they are erected by the local fire department (who else has a big ladder?), some people tell me the tree at the top must be higher than the highest point in the village – and in this snap, you can see a set of flags hanging from the tree, each flag corresponding to a trade.