Tuesday 9 February 2010

Planting of the 'Mai'.

France has a charming custom; the honouring of its elected representatives by the planting of a May Pole.

Even in a tiny village such as mine (there are just 233 of us), after each 'council' election a May Pole ('Mai') is erected at the home of a new councillor. Usually these are tall pine trees that have been stripped of their branches; a painted shield and pair of flags being attatched to the very top. These May Poles are lifted into place by gangs of strapping lads, amongst jolity, singing, and of course 'refreshment'.

I imagine that this is a post-revolution activity. Where once the local big-wig owned, and ruled-over, all; now the Mayor and his councillors are taken from amongst the population, and due honour made.

The shield above is from the home of a now deceased neighbour. It was on its 'last legs' so I asked his successor if I could take it. I, myself, added his name (Hervé), simply so that he should not be forgotten. He had no real family.
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  1. As you know, Cro, the planting of May Poles in Olde England celebrated young, adult virgins, which may explain why the practice has all but died out these days.

  2. I'm sure you're right. Twixt here and UK the name is the same, but the significance quite different.


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