There are celebrations all over the city on May Day - dpa
There are celebrations all over the city on May Day - dpa

Munich — (MunichNOW News) — May Day, known in German simply as “der Erste Mai”, is an ancient festival to welcome the spring weather and to drive away evil spirits.  May 1 is a public holiday in all German states.

A stamp from East Germany celebrating the 100-...
A stamp from East Germany celebrating the 100-year anniversary of International Workers Day on 1 May 1990. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People in some areas light bonfires and spend the evening and night outside. Young people may play pranks, shaving foam and „Böllers“ (firecrackers) left over from New Years Eve play a big role. Maypoles are also prepared for the following morning, known as May Day. In Bavaria there is also the custom of stealing those maypoles. Traditionally, when the maypoles are returned whoever managed to steal them gets free food and beer.

May Day and Workers Rights

May Day is also an occasion to campaign for, and celebrate workers rights particularly in Berlin, as it coincides with the Inernational Labour Day. These events may be tied with campaigns from other European countries. The largest marches occur in Kreuzberg, an area of Berlin, or the Hamburger Schanzenviertel and attracts many political activists each year.

…but of course throwing stones at policemen isn’t the only thing you can do on May Day.

The Maibaum at Viktualienmarkt — munichFOTO1.5. ab 8:30 Uhr Maibaumaufstellen in Puch
1.5. ab 8:45 Uhr Dachauer Maibaumfest
1.5. ab 9 Uhr  Grasbrunner Maibaumaufstellen
1.5. ab 9 Uhr: Moosacher Maibaumaufstellen
1.5. ab 9 Uhr: Perlacher Maibaumaufstellen
1.5. ab 9 Uhr: Allacher Maibaumaufstellen in der Eversbuschstraße
1.5. ab 10 Uhr: Pasinger Maibaumfest
1.5. ab 10 Uhr Gautinger Maibaumaufstellen
1.5. ab 11 Uhr Garchinger Maibaumaufstellen
1.5. ab ca.12 Uhr: Maibaumaufstellen auf dem Viktualienmarkt

 

The traditional putting up of the maypole is one of the highlights of May 1 — photo: dpaThe traditional putting up of the maypole is one of the highlights of May 1 — photo: dpa Street fighting in Berlin-Kreuzberg on May 1 — photo: dpaStreet fighting in Berlin-Kreuzberg on May 1 — photo: dpa