Le 1er May

Today is an annual public holiday in France, and many other countries around the world. However, in France, this date is more than just a day out of the office!

Back on 1 May 1560, King Charles IX of France was presented with lily of the valley (muguet) flowers as a lucky charm. The King appreciated the gift so much, he decided to annually gift the flowers to every lady in his court on 1 May. This gesture started to become more commonplace at the beginning of  20th century with men presenting lilies of the valley to women as a token of their affection.

Nowadays, it’s customary to give a sprig of these flowers as a token of appreciation to close friends and family members on 1er mai – though obviously not this year! The day also became a public holiday, formally known as La Fête du Travail (Labour Day), back in 1948.

44 thoughts on “Le 1er May

  1. What a nice custom! They have such a wonderful fragrance. 🙂
    Here in Denmark they don’t even show their leaves yet. I can see the tops of the shoots coming up though … 😉
    The first of May is here a holiday only for the workers, not other employees, who usually would have to work. They call it arbejdernes kampdag (the working men’s battle day).

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: