1st May is La Fête du Muguet the tradition in France is to give the ones you love a little bouquet of lily-of-the-valley, for good luck and to celebrate the arrival of spring.
Lily of the Valley
The meaning of this flower is “You will find Happiness.”
Muguet © Myrea Pettit
Originally the idea as a family was to take the children into the forests and let them pick your muguet together.
These days in the cities you will more likely buy it from florist’s, or one of the countless vendors stand that appear overnight on every street corner, many these days selling for charities and other good causes.
Although at all other times of the year, selling any kind of flowers or anything else on the street requires paying for a permit, merry May Day is exempted from this tax, and anyone can sell the blossoms anywhere without being tithed by the city.
Naturally every florist has pots and bouquets of lily of the valley dominating their outdoor displays. The pots for lily of the valley are always deep and vase-shaped, another tradition.
People everywhere clutch their lily of the valley, to be offered to their loved ones. With May 1st also ushering in Beltaine I love this French custom it is such a perfect way to welcome the Rites of Spring, when all is bursting into blossom, and new life appears with animals, birds and insects and one thought turns to beauty, love, caring and togetherness, precious moments for all who share the Fairiesworld. Muguet is also known as Our Lady’s tears since, according to Christian legend, the tears Mary shed at the cross turned to Lilies of the Valley, and in another legend, the flower also sprang from the blood of St. George during his battle with the dragon.
Other names include May Lily, May Bells, Lily Constancy and Ladder-to-Heaven. In 1982 Lily of the Valley became the national flower of Finland .