1st May – La Fête du Travail and La Fête du Muguet

Happy May Day! I don’t often repost posts but here’s one I published previously.

May 1st is a special day in France. It’s a holiday, a day off work.  May Day is also known in France as the Fête du Travail

It is also la Fête du Muguet, when it’s traditional to give loved ones a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of spring and of good luck.

The tradition of offering small bunches of Lily of the Valley, le muguet, to friends and family, as a good luck charm, apparently dates back to the Renaissance. Charles IX gave  the flower to the ladies of his court and decreed on May 1st, 1561, that anyone in France can legally sell flowers without a license, on May day, as long as they are a reasonable distance  from the nearest flower shop.

I have also read that  the lily of the valley flowers sprung from Eve’s tears when she was forced to leave the Garden of Eden. Elsewhere it is said that the flower comes from the tears of the Virgin Mary when she cried at the Crucifixion.

The photo below is of some lily of the valley growing in my garden. It looks a bit sad, at the moment! if you would like to see some more stunning photos of lily of the valley, follow the link to my Pinterest board.



9 thoughts on “1st May – La Fête du Travail and La Fête du Muguet

  1. Pingback: The Merry month of May… | Fancying France
  2. When I was a very little girl I remember that my mum used a Muguet talcum powder. I think it was by Yardley. She used to grow Lily if he Valley in the garden and when I left home I took some with me but they didn’t grow. Over the years I’ve tried several times but with no success.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yardley’s talcum powder – that brings back memories. The Lily of the Valley in our garden also came from my mum’s garden. It’s spread like wildfire! I’m wondering if it will grow as well in France.
      Just to let you know that I’m going to nominate you for a Sunshine Blogger award. Watch this space!

      Liked by 1 person

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