Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

The first of May in France April 29, 2009

Filed under: 1 May,Old traditions — mariedebretagne2 @ 9:10 pm

brinsmuguet2 1st of May and its popular symbol : the lily of the valley

The lily of the valley is considered to be a lucky charm and people buy or collect it in their garden to bring people good luck.

It is said that when the world was created, this delicate flower decorated the door of Paradise and every time a good man or woman entered it, its tiny bells would tinkle. This nice flower was gifted to identify virtuous people.

For Celts , and we are Celtic people in Brittany, the Lily of the valley was a lucky charm too and still is !

At the end of the XIXth century ( 1889) the first of May was adopted in Paris as a day to celebrate workers and labour. In 1890, people demonstrating in the streets wore a red triangle in their buttonholes to symbolize their demands, that is the ideal division of a day in three periods of 8 hours : work, sleep and leisure.
This red triangle was replaced at first by wild roses and finally by the lily of the valley.


In 1900, the first day of May, famous fashion designers ( « couturiers ») offered their lady clients and employees ( « petites mains ») brigs of lily of the valley.

A song called « il est revenu le temps du muguet » was created for the first time in Paris in 1936 and is still very pouplar 73 years later…

Brigs of lily of the valley is completely associated with the 1st of May. No first of May is possible without that elegant, delicately perfumed flower.

Everybody can sell brigs of lily of the valley in the streets on that day and teenagers make a lot of pocket money then !

On that day too, at the Elysée Presidential Palace in Paris, lily of the valley producers offer the President floral compositions « Tradition oblige »

Marie-France and kids.


A gift for the 1st of May

Filed under: 1 May — mariedebretagne2 @ 3:25 pm

Shall we offer you lily of the valley. Sorry we couldn’t add its perfume!

Marie-France and kids from 6ème 1 & 6ème2