Q. What is the origin of the maypole dance and should Christian parents allow their 5th grader to participate in such a ritual that supposedly has its roots in Paganism?
A. The tradition of dancing around the Maypole originated in pre-Christian times when many people worshiped the Earth. It was an important spring ritual in several pagan religions, but like many Christmas and Easter traditions its meaning was changed to accommodate the arrival of Christianity.
If you’re OK with letting your children practice the pagan traditions associated with Christmas and Easter you probably won’t have trouble with the Maypole, but it’s a matter for your personal consideration.