Monday, May 07, 2012

May Day

While our family mainly thinks about the twins’ birthday celebrations in May, there is more to celebrate in Germany. Over the course of the next month, the kids have four weeks of only four days at school. We will try to learn about all these holidays starting with the one that we just celebrated, May Day. May first was on a Tuesday this year and we all had the Tuesday off, right there in the middle of the week and not linked up with the weekend. Royce was trying to get her mind around the day off and finally asked if it was a public holiday, a term used in Hong Kong. We said yes and she started to enjoy it.
What we know of May Day is International Worker’s Day from our Ukraine days and also the Occupy DC movement from more recent times. But kids told us what they learned at German class and that seemed to fit with what we saw as we walked and biked around during the Mai Fest. They told us that May Day was an ancient celebration to welcome spring and drive away evil spirits. The night before is called witches night with bonfires and teenagers doing pranks throughout the night. The kids talked a lot about the prank bit, explaining that different villages tried to steal each other’s may poles. The successful prank playing village wins the right to a party hosted by the village they took the may pole from. Adam said the party was to include “lots of pork.” Royce agreed. They are in the same German class after all.
We had a beautiful spring day on May first and took the opportunity to ride to our local beer garden, sort of a communal picnic ground with a playground, food and of course, beer. The ride is a short one through the forest and we, for the first time ever, let Tori sprint ahead on her bike. Once we got to our beer garden, we panicked when we saw a crowd of hundreds of people. An entire field was opened up as a run-off parking lot for bikes and at least three bands were marching through the grounds playing polka music. We found her quickly but couldn’t shake off the feeling that May Day was bigger than we anticipated. In the end, we didn’t t see a real wooden just chopped down may pole either. The nearby town of Stockdorf was to raise their pole at the beer garden. Tori surmised it must have been stolen and Stockdorf now needed to stockpile some pork.


Post a Comment

<< Home