Maifest (or Mayfest) is one of Germany's oldest traditions, the
celebration of nature's bright reawakening after winter's cold
darkness. The custom of the Maypole began in the tenth century,
when villagers would erect a pole in the local square and decorate
it with sausages, cakes and multicolored ribbons. Dancing around
the Maypole, medieval citizens believed, would bring good luck and
wealth. The Maypole and the dance around it is a symbol of spring's
reawakening of fruitfulness. In some areas a whole village may
gather around a Maypole to hold hands, dance, sing and drink.
Its superstitious aspects have long since disappeared, but Maifest
is still celebrated throughout Germany, where cities and villages
are bedecked with colorful drapery and flowers. Some areas light
bonfires, while others elect May kings and most retain the Maypole.
Once again, the food is plentiful and beer and wine flow
The ancient tradition of Maifest (May Festival) is becoming
increasingly popular in cities across the US with traditional
dancing, food and of course the customary food and drink.
Why not try a Maibowle (May punch), a refreshing mixture of white
wine, champagne and woodruff; Maiwein (a German wine produced
during May) or Maibock (German beer brewed only during this
season). Since May is the start of the picnic season, why not try
some wholesome Mestemacher German breads from our International
department, Butterkäse or Cambozola cheeses and Westphalian ham and
pickles from the Deli.
Join us and create your own Maifest. Welcome in Spring with a
selection of fine imported German foods from Fiesta!