Ball and erection of the May

Ball and erection of the May
At the school hall of Praz de Fort

Ball and erection of the May

At the school hall of Praz de Fort

Catering on the spot


The May tree is the only Valaisan or even Swiss survival of a Roman custom consisting in planting a tree at night in front of the house where a girl was to be married; a way to make her declaration!

The action of planting a tree took a political turn during the French revolution.

It is found everywhere in Valais at the end of the 18th century and then in the 1830s in Martigny as a sign of “revolt against the communal authorities”.

In Praz-de-Fort, a tree was planted in 1833 without knowing the real reasons. Over time, this symbol became more of a festive occasion than a claim. The custom stopped during the two world wars before being revived in 1944 with the birth of the May Brotherhood.

We can note some interesting episodes since this date:

In 1953, the forces and the technique were assumed. The 36 meter tree broke!

In 1959, it was used as a lightning rod for the children of a colony who were taking a nap next door in the school.

Source: Orsières ma Commune by René Berthod


Saturday 4 to Sunday 5 May 2024


Historical custom

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