May Day in France

May 6th, 2012

May Day is labor day in France and there are always ‘parades’ – labor unions taking to the streets to show their muscle (though it almost always has a festive air).  But even more symbolic for May Day in France is giving and getting muguet des bois – lily in the valley in English – for good luck.  So little stands pop up on every street corner all day to make it easy to get your supplies – whether as cut flowers or potted or in little vases!  Of course florists have them too but you practically trip over all these enterprising vendors!  Sweet(ly scented) tradition!  Oh, the sign in the second photo says ‘real’ muguet des bois.  I suppose that means lily of the valley actually picked in gardens or the woods and not cultivated in greenhouses but that distinction is probably lost on everyone!

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