Thursday, 1 May 2014

La Fête du Muguet de Mai

It has become tradition in France on May 1st to give little sprigs of Muguet des Bois (Lily of the Valley) to people you like,  as a symbol of good luck, health and happiness for the coming year. Originally these were to be picked from one's own garden or from the woods, but nowadays the shops are full of little pots in the lead up to May 1st.

There are many suggestions as to the origin of this tradition. One, dating back to the Renaissance, tells of Loius De Girard offering a sprig of Lily of the Valley to Charles IX when he was visiting La Dromeand with his mother, Catherine de Medici .  It was said this pleased the King and each year on May 1st he offered a gift of Lily of the Valley to those around him, and so the legend spread that this gave good luck. To read more about the tradition see here.

This afternoon we walked through our local woods to photograph the Mugets des Bois growing wild in their natural setting..

The woodland floor was a mass of these pretty little flowers....

Assuming the properties attributed to the Muguet des Bois are true, have this sprig on us...
.....and a Happy May 1st to you!

1 comment:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

It is such a lovely French custom but I wait in vain for mine LOL.
Lovely photos, happy May, Diane