noun, often capitalized \ˈmā-ˌpōl\

: a tall pole decorated with ribbons and flowers that forms a center for the spring festival held on May 1

Full Definition of MAYPOLE

:  a tall flower-wreathed pole forming a center for May Day sports and dances

First Known Use of MAYPOLE



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Tall wooden pole garlanded with flowers and greenery and often hung with ribbons that are woven into complex patterns by dancers in a ceremonial folk dance. The custom probably originated in ancient fertility rites that involved dancing around a living tree in the springtime. In many European countries, notably England, the pole is set up on May 1 as part of May Day festivities. Similar ribbon dances were performed in India and in pre-Columbian Latin America.


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