With May Day hovering on the horizon, I thought of a fun little geography quiz: Map the Maypole!
Just in case you’re not familiar, maypoles are decorative wooden poles that have stood at the center of European May Day festivities throughout the ages. It’s no surprise that the traditions of twirling ribbons and dancing ’round the pole have spread across the globe, but can you guess where in the world the following maypoles are located?
I’ll give you the answers at the end, so don’t peek!
A. A rainbow of ribbons …
B. Red, white, and blue? Might surprise you …
C. Those sure are tropical looking leaves …
D. Skirts and ribbons swirl …
E. Renaissance garb and … a plastic coffee mug?
F. And, perhaps, my favorite of all …
A. Los Angeles, California
B. Offenham, England
C. Victoria, Australia
D. Salisbury, England
E. Tuxedo Park, New York
F. Dalarna, Sweden
When my girls were young, we used to attend May Day celebrations with maypole dancing at the local Waldorf School. I love singing the old songs and weaving the ribbons together . It is a beautiful ritual that is fading from childhood experiences in most schools.
(Picture me patting myself on the back…) I got the first one, A. correct. I knew B & D. were in England somewhere but not the towns.
For several years I worked at a local Lavender Farm during the harvest season as a docent to the visitors and at special events I taught lavender cooking to the crowds. All so the owners could concentrate on the harvesting, distilling, and operations of the farm without ignoring their customers. The owners had to take out a tall dead cedar tree on the property so they stripped it and planted it in the center of a new lavender bed like a flag pole. Then they contacted some friends wanting to know if there were any maypole dancers in the San Diego area and, by golly, there were! They came on May first and they brought their own ribbons and they danced the ribbons on and off the poll several times that day so that lots of visitors got to see it and then, when they left, the dancers the left the ribbons on the poll. It was beautiful and the ribbons lasted all woven perfectly on the poll for months and months. Great memory. My friends retired and sold the farm or I’d still work there. Because of them, although the lavender was fantastic, it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Oh, my I would love to have seen that. Big pat on the back for mostly correct answers, my dear friend!
The one in Dalarna, Sweden, (F) is a Midsummer Pole which is danced around at Midsummer (summer solstice) in June.