The ways of love around Transylvania are a little complicated, and filled with unwritten rules, the green branches, brought to the loved ones on the 1st of May is part of the traditions surrounding the elaborate courtship habits of the communities.
Every year, on the night of the 30th of May the group of young boys go to the nearest forests to cut down small trees, or branches of trees, birch-tree or pine tree was preferred as the symbols of fertility. They used to go on foot or on horse-drawn carriage, singing along their route. Nowadays the cars are preferred. The trees then were decorated with ribbons or flowers and put on the gates of the girls.
Which girls got maypoles? It is costumary to give a maypole to the neighbouring young girls, friend, classmates, cousins, and secret lovers. From as young as kindergarten, up to marriage the girls could get maypole.
The traditions are slightly different from region to region. In some communities the boys are singing loudly, and the girls should go out, offer them cake and sweets. In other communities the boys are sneaking silently in order to preserve the mystery, and in the next days the girls should guess who brought them the birch-trees. If they find out, they should give a chocolate and a handkerchief to the boys.
If the parents of the young girls are stringent, or are opposing the love, the boys often are teasing them with small pranks, like taking down the gate and hiding it, or replacing it with someone else’s gate. If the love of the boy is unrequited, he can prove his perseverance and true intentions by bringing a huge birch-tree to the house of the girl. However, if the girl was unsupportable, arrogant they did not get a maypole, which was considered to be shameful.
Let us know in the comments if you have the same or similar traditions in your region!
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