The Orkney News roving reporter, Nick Morrison, is in Krauthausen, Germany where he brings us news of May celebrations there.
The Mai Procession is organised by the young bachelors of the villages in Mai Clubs. They organise the installation of Mai trees normally saplings.
In some cases the villagers will decorate their own trees. These may be stolen by rival villages.
The bachelors will also place a picture made out of flowers in the front garden of a lady of interest to them these too may be stolen by rivals!
Theft of either the trees or pictures after the 1st of Mai is considered unsporting.
The girls are “auctioned” proceeds going to the Mai clubs. “Fixes” at these auctions are quite common!
In many cases the young ladies are girl friends of the Mai club members or their sisters. These Processions go through all the local villages sometimes 2 a day .
The roads are closed for the procession by the Fire Brigade who bring up the rear of the procession. Just before the procession appears a solitary Policeman in a car drives through exchanging cheerful banter with villagers lining the route. At the very front of the procession are the young children of the village on decorated bikes, trikes,pedal cars under the supervision of a village worthy. At the end of the procession The Local Mai club provides a Maque tent and beer and schnaps are available and consumed avidly!