Maibowle (04/05/08)

We were very lucky yet again with the weather for our Maibowle. A few days earlier things were looking dire with wet and cold to contend with but the Sunday was sunny and warm. Many familiar faces were unable to make the event this year but we hope they will be able to join us again in 2009. It is always a busy time for the hosts but I did manage to take a few photos when George was holding his speech on the origins of the celebration.

Notes from George:

The celebration of ‘Maibowle’ originates from the religious rite of Germanic tribes of thanking the Goddess Freya (or Frigga), wife of Odin, for bringing back the spring. Part of the celebration consists of drinking an alcoholic beverage in which bunches of Waldmeister (sweet woodruff) were soaked. This custom also existed in the British Isles occupied by the Germanic tribes but it went out of custom – that time most likely due to pressure by the church rather than the Health and Safety Executive. Later woodruff was used extensively in linen cupboards to give the linen a nice smell. Nevertheless Freya left us her legacy by giving us the word Friday. ‘Maibowle’ is still celebrated on the continent by the Germanic countries although its mythological origins are mostly forgotten. We brought back this custom with us from Germany. Prost!