Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day Tradition in Paris

I love have always loved May Day and the idea of dancing around a Maypole or placing a basket of fresh flowers on the front door to welcome Spring.

I learned about another May Day tradition the last time I was in Paris. On the first of May, the tradition is to give a bouquet of lily of the valley to friends and family for good luck.

May 1st is the only day that anyone can sell lily of the valley on the streets of Paris without taxation. These heavenly white flowers were available everywhere! Throughout the day, I saw men, women and children carrying little bunches of muguet du bois around the city. It was just charming.


Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I remember having May Day festivities when I was a girl (about 50 years ago). But May Day is not celebrated in the U.S. anymore; I think it was deemed a communist event... Terribly sad, such a loss. I thought it was wonderful to wrap ribbons around the May pole. Sad.
Such a great tradition in France!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Just checking... do you celebrate May Day in Michigan? Maybe it's just my part of the country where it isn't celebrated.

MmeBenaut said...

I see cannas and hellebores there too. Happy May Day!

Kimmers said...

Growing up, on May Day, I used to put little bouquets on the neighbors' doorsteps and run. Of course they always knew it was me. Teehee! Interesting about the Lily of the Valley though - ours is just now coming up and nowhere NEAR blooming.

Anne Reeves said...

We don't really celebrate May Day here anymore, however I always hang a paper cone of flowers on my front door.