Tag Archives: Lilies of the Valley

The Rites of Spring

                 In France, the first day of May marries two traditions that have absolutely nothing to do with each another: offering a bouquet of lilies of the valley to one’s nearest and dearest, and celebrating International Labor Day. The noisy parade routes, jammed with union members and sympathizers waving banners, are lined with sausage stands […]

May Day May Day

May 1, Lilies-of-the-Valley Day. (Thanks to a 1561 decree by Charles IX, who was smitten by the little flower.) The only thing you can still sell on Paris streets without a vendor’s licence! Despite a cold spring there seemed to be enough stalks to go around yesterday, as people streamed toward the Bastille to honor: […]