The Maypole dates back to the Iron Age (6th – 8th Century) BC. Although there are a number of schools of thought as to the meaning of the Maypole the most common is that it is an ancient fertility rite. It usually occurs on 1st May (May day) although in some parts of Europe including Sweden it occurs Midsummer. The pole itself is thought to be a phallic symbol although it could just be a way of rejoicing summer has returned. The cross on the Swedish maypole is thought to be an attempt to recognise Christianity in this pagan ritual. This rite of times past is still performed in some countries today and certainly in many countries May Day is celebrated. Possibly due to it being in our autumn I don’t know of anywhere in Australia that performs the maypole ritual.
In response to Paula’s Thursday’s Special