In many villages in Lusatia, a maypole is erected the evening before 1st May. The maypole is comprised of a tree trunk measuring up to 30 metres high. Garlands are wrapped around it as decorations, and a small birch tree decorated with colourful ribbons is usually placed on the top to symbolise happiness and fertility for people, livestock and crops.

The maypole is erected by the younger village residents on the village square. In some Catholic locations, residents traditionally gather under the maypole to sing religious songs. In the villages surrounding Hoyerswerda, the young local residents preserve a special activity originally performed by the girls from the spinning room: a wreath is attached to the maypole under the top of the tree, and each of the four oldest girls in the village donates a coloured scarf to hang from it.

The maypole itself is a naturally straight coniferous tree, which is cut down and has its bark removed for the role. The young birch tree attached to the top of the maypole is decorated with a wreath, coloured ribbons or strips of crepe paper. Sorbian flags are sometimes also hung from its branches. The main trunk of the maypole is often embellished with garlands. Once the maypole has been erected, the young village residents dance around it.

After these celebrations, the top priority is to guard the maypole so that it is not cut down or stolen by boys from the neighbouring villages before the end of the celebrations. If this happens, the village will no longer be allowed to erect a maypole until seven years have passed.

The maypole often remains standing until midsummer, when it is chopped down and auctioned off – or used for maypole throwing.

The highlight of Maytide customs in Upper Lusatia is the maypole throwing contest, which takes place on a Sunday in May. The local residents gather around the maypole, and their young members perform folk dances. The girls often wear traditional dress, and the boys don white shirts and black trousers for the occasion. After the celebrations, the maypole is dug up. As soon as it falls, the boys sprint to the top of the tree. The first one to get there is crowned the May King and chooses his queen from among the girls. The royal couple and the other couples then ride through the village, accompanied by the melodies of a band. The evening comes to an end with a dance in the village pub.

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