Labor Day is an official holiday across France (and of course Monaco), which falls on 1st May. It’s a day where stores close, buses don’t run, and France is effectively ‘out of office’. One traditional, and very specific way to celebrate this holiday is to offer a small bouquet of Lily of the Valley, or Muguet, to our loved ones. The flower is supposed to symbolise good luck and love, but have you ever wondered where this long lasting tradition came from?
The Lily of the Valley has been considered a ‘porte-bonheur’, or lucky charm, since all the way back to the middle ages when the flower was first brought to Europe from Japan.
According to French tradition, the celebration of May Day started in 1561, when King Charles IX was gifted a bunch of Lily of the Valley by a knight, as a token of good luck and prosperity for the coming year. Legend has it that he liked the idea so much that he started to offer the same flower to all of his Ladies in Waiting on the same day every year.
The Lily of the Valley, is a delicate, sweetly scented woodland flowering plant that is native throughout the Northern Hemisphere, in some of the cooler temperatures of Europe and Asia. In Europe, the small white flowers are often used in wedding bouquets. Both Princess Grace of Monaco and Catherine Middleton chose to have Lily of the Valley in their bridal bouquets, for their respective weddings to Prince Rainier III and Prince William.
Whatever you're doing today, we wish you a day full of fun, family, and flowers.