Holidays in Germany Part I
The 1st of May
Why is May 1st celebrated in parts of Europe? The reason for our holiday is the history of America.
In the era of industrialization in the 19th century, May 1 was in the United States of America the day of the demonstration of the rights of the working class. This day was chosen because of the tradition of moving on the 1st of May and is still known as “the day of moving”. The ambiguity of private change and political fights is still present today. Above all, in Germany the power of the citizens’ movement and the right to work, especially work for everyone under human conditions, are celebrated.
In the suburbs and cities, special trees called “Maibäume” are placed, which are not only a symbol of change, but also a part of the festivities. So it is tradition to steal the May trees of the neighboring cities and celebrate the victory with music, good food and traditional drinks. In some parts of Germany couple dances are also popular around the May trees. Especially in Bavaria, traditional clothes are used for these dances. In Europe the day of work is celebrated not only in Germany – also in Liechtenstein, Austria, Belgium, and in parts of Switzerland, May 1st is something special!