Planning the Perfect Ritualistic Maypole Party
Countrymen and womenfolk, it would seem that, once more, we survived the lean and harsh winter months. The flowers do bloom, rays of sunshine warm us from above, and fruits and vegetables abound in our bountiful farms and gardens.
Clearly, the gods have #blessed us, and it is incumbent upon us to thank them—and to preemptively ensure a bountiful fall harvest so that next winter may be free of starvation. As, say, the Elder Scribes’ holy tomes, there is but one way the gods must be thanked: a ritualistic maypole party. It all centers on the carefully choreographed group dance of ribbon-bearing children that transforms a humble oak into a triumphant pillar awash in vibrant color. That and the Great Offering, i.e. the sacrifice of the virgin.
Here’s how to ensure that your ritualistic maypole party is successful, lest you anger the gods and they end all life in your community.
Never use a metal one. The Pole must come from the Earth. Procure a tall oak from the Forests of the Dead, the place where, after the maypole ritual, you’ll scatter the ashes of the virgin. Their remains nourish the trees, which then become poles upon which future virgins are sacrificed, which ensures the health of the community. It’s all so beautifully circular.
An open space is needed to handle the large pole, as well as the dancing with long ribbons around that pole. But not merely any green space will suffice. A field must be fertile, covered in crisp, wet grass and surrounded by berry-bearing plants. (They’re ideal for smearing the virgin’s unsullied white garments; its blood-like appearance shall make the gods take notice.) Also, the ground cannot be rocky. If you throw a maypole ritual party on rocky ground, you’re basically asking the gods to bless you with fields of rocks. Children can’t eat rocks.
As soon as you find your field, contact the High Priest so that he may bless your field. There will be many ritualistic maypole parties, and there’s only one High Priest to bless them all. The earlier you pick your field, the earlier you can get the busy High Priest to bless it.
To dance the maypole dance, the hypnotic weaving of ribbons upon the wooden monolith, you must procure your dancers. Go door to door in your village, collecting the child of each household that is closest in age to 11, the holiest number. The Holy Choreographer shall teach them the dance over the course of 11 days. Each night, the children shall sleep in the chosen field, dressed in their family shrouds. (Note: Not their springtime robes; those are reserved for the maypole dance.) This way, the gods will come to know and trust them, appreciating their childish innocence.
Ribbons must be colorful, vibrant, and loose, but they must also be strong enough to hold the virgin to the pole. Your local party supply store or pop-up maypole store will have a number of options. Spring for the waterproof. Not only are they sturdy, they’ll resist the morning dew that will be very much present during the maypole ceremony, which occurs at dawn, the wettest time of day.
The Jagged Stones
If you’ve selected the right field, it won’t have many rocks. You’ll have to bring your own Jagged Stones with which to throw at the virgin tied to the maypole.
This is the most important part. The ritual centers around a woman of virtue pure, unsullied by the touch of husband, free of all disease, and also blonde. Before the maypole ritual comes the purity ritual. Every blonde virgin aged 19–20 must prove their virginity by surviving 11 minutes underwater in Dark Lake. The chosen virgin is the sole survivor, and you’ll sacrifice her at the maypole party. The dancing children’s ribbons shall hold her to the pole. Then, how they all shall burn. Ah, spring!