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Throughout much of Europe, May 1 is recognized as International Labor Day and treated as an official holiday. In Germany, celebrations start the night before and last well into the wee hours. In most years, those working a typical U.S. schedule miss out. This year, however, May 1 falls on a Sunday, meaning everyone can enjoy the festivities with no compromise to work-day productivity. On the night of April 30, communities gather in public places to participate in “Tanz in den Mai,” or Dance into May. The celebrations, often organized by local clubs or branches of political parties, might include treats from the grill, wine and beer, and entertainment. In some towns, you may witness the setting up of the Maibaum, or maypole. Later, bars, night clubs and other establishments offer live entertainment and special programs, often requiring a cover charge. The crowds will also be out in force on May 1, celebrating their work-free day with the usual assortment of performances by local talents and stands selling typical fest foods, coffee and cake. To find out what’s going on locally, just search the Internet with the name of your home town and the phrase “Tanz in den Mai.”


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