On May 1 it is tradition in France to give Lily of the Valley bouquets to friends and loved ones to wish them happiness and good luck in celebration of the arrival of spring. The story goes back to 1560 when a knight named Louis Girard gave King Charles IX a bouquet of Lily of the Valley for luck and prosperity for the coming year. From then on King Charles IX would give the ladies of his court Lily of the Valley bouquets every year on May 1st to spread this good fortune.
Known as La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day), this tradition is unique to France, however the idea of luck surrounding Lily of the Valley is a part of some other cultures. Lily of the Valley is a popular flower for wedding bouquets because they’re supposed to bring luck in love, and they have been seen many royal wedding bouquets including those of Queen Victoria, Princess Astrid of Sweden, Grace Kelly, and Kate Middleton.
The First of May is also a public holiday in France, known as La Fête du Travail (National Labour Day). Schools, offices, banks, businesses, and museums are usually closed.
In celebration of this lovely tradition, why not give a bouquet or a Lily of the Valley trinket to your loved ones? Or perhaps set a lovely Lily of the Valley tablescape to welcome spring?