Happy May Day! In France, today marks Labor Day as well as La Fête du Muguet, celebrating the arrival of spring. Men wear a sprig of lily of the valley — also known as muguet, May bells or May lily — in their lapel, and women are given fresh bouquets of the flower.
The tradition dates back to the first of May, 1561, when the country’s 10-year-old King Charles was presented with a bunch of the white blossoms — a gesture symbolizing luck, happiness and prosperity. As the story goes, he was so touched, he continued the tradition on the same day every year thereafter by offering lily of the valley to the ladies of his court — and the custom continues today.
More to explore in Culture
- Culture Milan Issue: Architect Marie-Louise Sciò’s Guide to the Art & Design Scene Fri, Apr 17, 2015
- Culture Milan Issue: Lettuce Ware Art Installation at Tory Burch Thu, Apr 16, 2015
- Culture Milan Issue: Meet Artist Bethan Laura Wood Thu, Apr 16, 2015
- Culture Milan Issue: Curator Caroline Corbetta on Salone del Mobile Tue, Apr 14, 2015
- Culture To Do: Spirit of Water at The Antique & Artisan Gallery Wed, Apr 8, 2015