After witnessing a traditional “Putting up the Maibaum Ceremony”, I can now report that we have also seen the other end of the spectrum – the very important “Taking Down the Maibaum Ceremony”…
It turns out these big stripey poles aren’t allowed to stand for longer than three years just in case they rot and fall on someone’s head, despite the fact that it may be the best part of a year until it’s the official time (i.e May!) for the next one to go up….
Once the Maibaum had been “felled”, a few locals hitched a ride on it as it was hauled up the road by elderly (but effective) tractor in anticipation of the next part of the ceremony. Lots of beer drinking was needed for this, as it undoubtedly helped with confidence and the easing of purse strings. An auctioneer stood with a tape measure, and with the help of a trusty assistant wielding a chainsaw, the pole was then ceremoniously sawn up into bespoke lengths depending on the bidder’s request! All the while raising money for good causes of course!
I can only think that the amount of beer consumed may also have induced varying levels of amnesia, judging by the huge pile of bits of Maibaum still waiting to be collected. Either that or they are still plucking up the courage to tell their wives!