I could not buy any groceries on my second day in Slovenia, a Tuesday. I quickly deduced that it was a national holiday of some sort. These gave me some clues:
It was May Day! The Maypole is an ancient tradition in these parts, whose original meaning has been lost, some speculating that it is a representation of the axis mundi, or the world tree, ciring the Norse Ygdrassil as evidence (Many cultures have a concept of the universe represented as a tree). It is likely also a celebration of Spring, given the time of year. There is a rich history of tree-centered ritual and worship, along with vernal and harvest celebrations of various kinds, that have been celebrated for thousands of years here, and all involve the personification or representation of trees and crops, indicative of once widespread goddess worship in relation to crops, an example of which is the Roman Ceres, goddess of agriculture and fertility, a Mother Earth figure. Exciting to see, though I was a little disappointed not to see any lads and maidens winding ribbon around them.