Appeals to the Romantic in me "La Fete du Muguet"
The lily of the valley is beautiful this year and the scent unmistakable. Catherine had it in her royal bouquet, all picked here in Cornwall. As it is so in the news at the moment, I thought I would also share with you the tradition of giving it away on May Day in France. They also have a bank holiday for May Day ( Fete du Travail) as we do, but alongside it celebrate Lily of the Valley. It is picked and given to friends and is also sold everywhere in the towns and on the roadside with much of the money raised being given to charity. It is the only time of the year people don’t need a permit to sell it and it is seen as a “porte bonheur” – good luck charm
Supposedly, this custom started during the 16th Century, when wedding banns were posted at the beginning of May, and wreaths of muguet were hung in the doorways of the brides-to-be. During his reign, Charles IX also began offering muguets for luck. In the late 1800s, the international workers movement declared the first of May as May Day, in honor of the workers of the world.In France, workers and their supporters wore lily-of-the-valley boutonnières. These days, French tradition says that you must offer au moins un brin de muguet (”at least one sprig of Lily of the Valley”) to loved ones on May Day.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if it caught on here.