25 Apr 2020

WHY A LILY OF THE VALLEY ON MAY 1st ?

May 1 is not only Labor Day, it is also the day when we offer sprigs of the lily of the valley to people we love. This tradition is not new. In ancient Rome, celebrations in honor of Flora, goddess of flowers, peaked on May 1. The Celts celebrated the start of summer on the same day. They erected a tree around which they danced to chase away evil spirits. They also granted the lily of the valley virtues of good luck.

The use arrived in France on May 1, 1561, when King Charles IX received a sprigs of lily of the valley on that date, and he decided to offer it each year to the ladies of the court. The tradition was born.



Ever since we offer these little bouquets to our family and friends, neighbors, or office collegues on each 1st of May.



As the weather was so nice and warm, they bloomed already in my garden far too early ! So I told my neighbors to pick them up if they want too and offered a little bouquet to my friends.

This year it will be different, as we are still locked in in our cages but if everything goes smooth between the doctors, scientifics and the government we will be set free on May 5.

So for the first time since the 61 years I live in Belgium there will be no street vendors no  people on the street with their little bouquets and nobody will get them or maybe they will lay in front of the door.






Linking to Linda G. Hills prompt SOCS-Val

11 comments:

Linens and Royals said...

Lovely tradition for May 1st and Lily of the Valley. We don't have it here and the flower would not be out by May 1st.
You are lucky to have a date for your release from lock down, don't know when ours will end.

fuzzypandaonthemove.blogspot.com said...

Thanks, I haven't heard of this tradition. It's lovely. Pity it won't happen this year. Here in South Africa, we're looking forward to the first of May because our lockdown will be slightly eased - from level 5 to level 4. Jenny Young. https://jennyyoung27.wordpress.com/blogs/

mamasmercantile said...

I have never heard of this tradition, such a lovely one. Hopefully it will live on and their will be little bouquets on the doorstep. Take care.

Wendy said...

I hadn't heard of this tradition either. I expect some will be left outside houses for people to find. I hope so anyway.

Mara said...

Never heard of it before, although flowers will arrive on May 1st: it's my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.

Fun60 said...

I think that's a lovely tradition.

peppylady (Dora) said...

May day is a celebration for us Pagans, we call it Beltane

Andrew said...

It's a nice tradition and I haven't heard of it before.

Tamago said...

It’s a lovely tradition. Too bad it won’t happen this year but hopefully next year it will come back!

diane b said...

It is sad that the lovely tradition of giving lily of the valley to friends will be not taking place. You never know people are becoming quite inventive in these times of isolation. People might find a way of doing it like we had to find a way of commemorating ANZAC DAY yesterday. May 5 is not long to go. Some of our restrictions are being lifted on 1 May. It won't be straight back to normal we have to take it bit by bit to make sure we keep the curve flattened.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Lilies of the valley seem to have gone out of fashion in England. I've not seen any in ages. They smell delicious.