As Germans we are familiar with May 1st as the “Tag der Arbeit”. It’s a National Holiday in Germany and it’s often times also a day filled with protests and demonstrations in the bigger cities. The Union (Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund) is organizing rallies on that day to commemorate the achievements in the labor movement.
But there are also the May 1st traditions that go way back in history like the observation of the Walpurgisnacht (Night of the witches) or the stealing of the village maypole by a neighboring village. I am sure you remember the Maitanz (May Pole Dance). Many of us had to perform one in our Kindergarten years to enchant our parents. I certainly still remember mine or better just the fact that one little boy got terribly entangled in all the bands around the may pole. It’s for sure not as easy a dance as it might look!
Many German clubs and schools in California keep those wonderful traditions alive and invite the public to their annual Maifest (May celebrations).
In the following please find a roundup of what we have heard of:
Highland Hall Waldorf School invites to their annual May Faire with May Pole Dancing, Native American Pow Wow, Ballet Folklórico de Los Angeles and Country Music/Folk Dancing. Lost of Activities are offered as well. There will be live music, storytelling,delectable healthy baked goods and food vendors, exquisite artisan vendors, children’s games, arts and craft-making activities for ALL ages! Visitors will be able to enjoy time in our farm, and the Native American Village.
When: Saturday May6 from 10am-4pm , Admission is FREE!
Where: Highland Hall Waldorf School, 17100 Superior Street, Northridge, CA 91325
More Info at www.HighlandHallWaldorfMayFaire.com
The Phoenix Club in Anaheim celebrates its traditional Maifest combined with its Kinderfest on May 7th , 2017. The German American League Clubs will start out the festivities with a parade at 1pm. Lots of activities for children will be offered. Witness the election of the Maikönigin (May Queen)and of course the famous May Pole Dance and much more.
When: Sunday, May 7th from 11am-6pm, Admission $7 (Pre-sale) or $10 at the gate. Children 16 and under are free.
Where: Phoenix club Biergarten, 1340 S. Sanderson Avenue
Anaheim, California 92806
Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool in L.A. has its May Faire Celebration with May Pole Dancing, Music Performances, Puppet Show, Face painting and much more.
When: Saturday, May 20th from 11am-3pm; suggested donation $10
Where: Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool, 3170 Stoner Ave,Los Angeles, CA 90066
GISSV German International School in Emeryville has its Multicultural Summerfest on May 20, 2017. There will be a Rummage Sale with finds like German books and more. You can enjoy the International Food Festival and Live Music and Activities for kids of all ages, with arts & crafts, woodworking, yoga, soccer and more.
When: Saturday, May 20th, from 1pm-4pm
Where: 1070 41st Street, Emeryville, CA
Oakland Nature Friends & Tourist Club celebrates its traditional Maifest with Bavarian Schuhplattler Dancers, the Gruber Family Band and German food, beer and dancing. There is something for everyone of all ages at the Maifest!
When: Sunday, May 7th from 12pm-6pm. Admission: Buy tickets online! (Kids under 14 are free.)
Where: Oakland Nature Friends, 3115 Butters Drive, Oakland, CA 94602
Sacramento Turn Verein has its 49th annual Bockbierfest! Experience traditional German Folk Dancing, the Alpentanzer Schuhplattler, a traditional German Choir while you enjoy authentic German food and Bockbierfest Bier.
When: Saturday May 6th from 3pm – midnight. Admission: Buy Tickets online!
Where: Sacramento Turn Verein, 3349 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
Image: Courtesy of Highland Hall Waldorf School/ Taylor Myers