Picture source: Yamaken
I adore that lilies-of-the-valley are sold all over France on the 1st of May. During my first Labor Day in France, I found myself amazed at the number of people standing on the sides or corners of the streets selling these beautiful and delicate flowers. I thought it charming and sweet. I still do.
Here is some history behind the tradition of offering a lily-of-the-valley on May 1st and origins of this national holiday:
A long-lived pagan custom was to plant an adorned tree on that day to celebrate the return of spring. For the Catholic Church it is the first day of the month of the Virgin. But by far, all over France, it is the succession of the “Workers’ protest Day” (1889-1947) which officially became Labor Day, la fête du travail, in 1947. The typically French custom on 1er mai is to offer blossoming lily-of-the-valley to bring luck. For the whole day anyone is allowed to sell lilies-of-the-valley without a vendor’s license. The fragrant can, therefore, be bought at every street corner.
Source: Embassy of France website
Please visit Spirit of Paris to see a beautiful picture capturing this special day. Spirit of Paris is one of my favorite photoblogs. Take a look around while you are there visiting and I am sure it will become one of yours as well.
Another wonderful blog I recommend that you visit if you would like to see beautiful pictures of Paris and read today’s post about May 1st in France is parisdailyphoto.