Lily of the valley for good luck


May 1st, — le 1er mai– , is a bank holiday in France —un jour férié–, and traditionally, people offer their family, friends or relatives a sprig of lily of the valley for good luck.
Although the weather was uncertain that day, I went for a walk and took a few photos.

Traditional Lily of the valley

Lily of the valley – muguet

Closed on May 1st

Shops are closed

And on that day, anyone and everyone is allowed to sell lily of the valley on the street.

selling lily of the valley

Selling lily of the valley

Either she just got her sprig, or they are going to offer it to some friends or relatives.

Just got her bouquet

Just got hers!

Lily of the valley

And here’s some of mine


9 thoughts on “Lily of the valley for good luck

  1. Oh, I cannot wait for my Lily of the Valley to get into bloom (further North than Paris). All the green leaves are their – just waiting for the flowers. Then into the house, warm room and the perfume. Heavenly.

    Just reached 70th birthday, been celebrating for two weeks so missed the Wednesday Windows. Now caught up – all of usual high standard. Roll on the next ‘0’.

  2. It is my favorite smell. My mom had a large bed of it, and one year after my parents had both died, I cut a large amount of it (about 60 stems) and took it to a florist in that town, since I was leaving town and couldn’t take it with me. They were very unappreciative and said they couldn’t sell it – too expensive. I couldn’t believe my ears! If they got it free, they could give it away free to special customers, couldn’t they? How short-sighted some people are.

  3. Oh, your photo of the lillies of the valley are so beautiful. May I use it in a post? My grandmother is the only person I knew who successfully grew lillies of the valley in her garden. she would bring me the first bouquet of the season. I planned my wedding so that I could (hopefully) use them in my bouquet. It ended up that they bloomed in profusion at exactly the right time. She brought the first bouquet to the hospital, three years later, to her first grandaughter!

    After my grandmother died, her lillies died, too, and never came back. I think they mourned her death.

  4. lovely progression of pictures for a charming french celebration where the meaning is only about a particular flower. i want one–a day without politics or significance–of those!

  5. I’ve been in Paris a few times on May 1 and loved being able to partake in this custom. Especially since Lily of the Valley is my favorite flower, along with Lilacs. The fragrance is like no other.
    Unfortunately, I wasn’t in France as planned a week ago Friday. So no Lily of the Valley for me this year. They don’t grow in Florida…much too warm.

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