This morning dawned with clear skies, the sun beating down and the birds singing as if they were going to burst. Being May 1st, it is a public holiday here in France – “Fête du Travail” – International Worker’s Day or Labour Day, so the roads were quiet. (WHAT am I on about? The roads here are ALWAYS quiet)! LOL. Maggie was, as always, keen to go ‘walkies’, and with such a glorious day, who could blame her.
As we came back home, I was greeted by my neighbours, bearing a small bunch of Lily of the Valley – ‘muguet’ which of course, was presented to me for luck and prosperity. I read somewhere that the French forked out somewhere in the region of €32m to buy this sweet smelling flower to give as a token of love and affection, luck and prosperity.
The tradition of giving lily of the valley flowers on May 1 is said to have begun in 1560, when knight Louis Girard presented King Charles IX with a bunch of lily-of-the-valley flowers as a token of luck and prosperity for the coming year. It is said that he took a shine to the idea and began the custom of presenting lily-of-the-valley flowers to the ladies of his court each year on the same day. I am fortunate enough to have a massive clump of muguet right outside my front door, and I have to say that the smell is wonderful. Even if you didn’t get a sprig of lily of the valley, I wish you all luck and prosperity.