Photo POSTcard: Germany’s Highest May Pole

The tradition of putting up a may pole on May 1 is alive and strong in the Bavarian region of Germany. Each spring, a tall straight pine is cut down, the pole is painted in the traditional blue and white stripes, and with much pomp and circumstance is lifted into its designated position. The pole is then decorated with symbols of the local crafts and guilds. Part of the tradition is to try and steal the neighboring town’s pole before THE day, and hold it for ransom-food and beer of course.

The most famous may pole may be the one located in the Viktualmarkt in Munich. But the highest may pole is on top of the Zugspitze, Germany’s beautifully scenic highest mountain peak.  And yes, in spite of its lofty location, this pole is susceptible to theft. In 2004, that year’s pole was daringly heisted using a helicopter, despite it being heavily guarded. The ransom: train tickets, sandwiches and beer- what else?

Thanks for visiting.