The Welsh maypole was always made of BIRCH (Trevelyan) - in fact the Welsh word bedwen serves both for birch and maypole. There are other uses connected with May Day, too. In Herefordshire a birch tree was brought into the farmyard on May Day, decorated with red and white rags, and then propped against the stable door to protect the horses from being hag-ridden. In some parts of Sweden, it was the May custom for boys to go round with the village fiddler, each with a bunch of freshly gathered birch twigs. They sang songs that had the general theme of asking for fine weather, good harvests, and the like. At every cottage they got the proper reward, and then they would decorate the door with one of their birch sprays (Philpot).
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