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CultureLily of the Valley (Muguets)

It is a tradition in France that on May 1st, May Day, people will pick wild Lily of the Valley (Muguets in French). Also, it is very common to see roadside stands or people in front of supermarkets selling Lilies of the Valley, often to gather funds for an organization.

Lily of the Valley is a small plant that gives off a very nice smell. The tradition is: you go out and gather the Lilies of the Valley, enjoy the spring weather and get a little exercise. Then, when you have collected your Lilies of the Valley, you put them in a vase in your home to bring their perfume home.
Added by a reader: Another tradition is to give a bouquet to a family member or friend to bring them happiness - le bonheur.

Wild Lily of the Valley.

Young Lily of the Valley not yet ready to be picked.

On May 1st of 2004 I had the chance to collect wild Lily of the Valley in Southern Burgundy. Below are some photos from our Lily of the Valley hunt.

See the bouquet we picked in 2007.

Please Note: May 1st is a national holiday in France - it's the French Labor Day. It's common for most shops and stores to be closed, it's even difficult to get a newspaper!

Related links:
Lily of the Valley
Lily-of-the-Valley

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