A sweet little love story

Saturday, September 24, 2011

While on my two and a half hour walking tour of Munchen, we came across a municipal beer garden, surrounded by a lovely food market, known as Viktualienmarkt. While there, the tour guide showed us where we would find the best meat, nice treats to eat and other interesting German cuisine. And then he told us a little story, which is as much a part of the Bavarian tradition is as beer. Well, it all revolves around beer. And trees.

You see this tree? It's called a May tree. It's bolted to the ground. I'll tell you why a bit later.

All those people down there are drinking beer. 
This picture was taken about 11:30 in the morning.
And the picture doesn't really do justice to the immensity of this beer garden.
But back to the trees.

In Bavaria, the tradition goes that, when a boy likes a girl, he will plant a May tree in her front garden. When she likes him back, she will do a little dance around the tree and they will get married. Well, that's how I understood it.

Now, for the interesting part. Get this, if the girl doesn't like the guy and doesn't want to marry the guy, she declines by, and you really won't believe this, putting a keg of beer on his front porch. Ha! It's a win-win situation. Even though he loses the girl, he can get drunk. He'll be happy either way.

The tradition has been taken a bit further. The reason why the May tree is bolted to the ground, is to prevent people from stealing it. Yes, people in Bavaria steal trees. For FUN! The idea is that one village steals the tree from another village, and in order to get their tree back, the village that has been robbed from their tree has to throw the other village a party, which involves, you guessed it, beer! 

The tour guide told us that the security guards managed to steal the airport's May tree and that the airport had to throw their employees a party to get the tree back. I love tradition!


Jenna said...

Such a hilarious, but awesome story! Why can't South Africa (and the USA) be more like Germany ha!

ps I never got a missed call or anything from you :( if it was this passed weekend you tried to call Jurg and I were away in Kruger and I didn't always get service so maybe that's why - let's make a date soon!

TiasaurausRex said...

lOl that sounds like such a fun holiday! i really enjoyed this post... i never really knew what may day was all about but thanks for sharing!
so i just stumbled across your blog and i think we should follow eachother :]

Dree said...

What a cool story! I love the tradition of refusing a proposal by leaving a keg at his front door. How great to be able to learn these things!

Fiona said...

Love that tradition!!!
Thanks for sharing :)

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