In the "merry month of May", the Maibaum (maypole) is erected by the local lads as a symbol of the vital energy of spring. That requires muscle power! In keeping with tradition, the fir tree trunk – usually tall and heavy – is lifted step by step with a pair of crossed poles until it is standing upright.
Murnau's maypole is decorated with symbols of handicrafts, guilds and trades, as well as a miniature church, tavern and figures dressed in traditional costumes. It is either made of untreated wood or is painted white and blue, the colours of Bavaria – definitely a must-see. The maypole is replaced every three to five years.
After all the work has been done, the question of whether the custom was a form of worshipping trees and forests from the Germanic period or whether the maypole symbolizes fertility and blessings is pretty much irrelevant. Then the lads and lassies perform the ancient Bandltanz (maypole dance). There is dancing and merriment for locals and visitors alike.