Maypoles adorning fountains

According to Eduard Strübin, a Basel folklorist, maypoles as fountain decorations are unique to his region. On the eve of 1 May, poles with small decorated fir trees are put up at fountains in more than half of the municipalities in the Basel area. In many places responsibility for erecting the maypoles lies with young residents. The earliest known written records of the practice date from 1544. In addition to the festivities around the maypole, many villages are a stage for May singing performed by folk music groups or male choirs. Most folk music groups perform the May dance, which was introduced to the Basel area by the Liestal folk music group, founded in 1932. The May dance is performed with ribbons, which seems particularly appropriate for the Basel region given its silk ribbon industry.

Detailed description





Eduard Strübin: Jahresbrauch im Zeitenlauf. Kulturbilder aus der Landschaft Basel. Liestal, 1991

Mai – Maibaum. In: Schweizerisches Idiotikon – Wörterbuch der schweizerdeutschen Sprache. Frauenfeld, 1881-2011



Design and decoration

Dance and movement

Sailing, floating and gliding