Happy May Day!
In America May 1st is really just another day. Nothing terribly special.
Last year I was really quite surprised, while staying in France, that May 1st is a popular holiday. (There's actually quite a few holiday's in France in the beginning of May. Many days where everything is shut down and people celebrate, but I digress.)
When my Mom and I stayed in France last year, we stayed with her best friend Patou who is like an aunt to me, which is why I call her Tata Patou. Anyhoo, she was driving us to a castle just outside of Crozant when she suddenly pulled to the side of the rode and parked, getting out, and buying my Mom and I a little bunch of Lily of the Valley from a man selling it at a small table.
This was all quite a surprise.
It's tradition to give Lily of the Valley to loved ones on May first.
There were two really nice elderly woman who ran the gift shop at the castle we visited, and just when we were leaving one of them received a potted Lily of the Valley from a delivery man. The Lily of the Valley my Mom and I received earlier was nice, but this potted plant was fresh and had the most delightful smell. I couldn't stop smelling it!!!
From The Connexion French News and Views website: "The tradition of giving lily of the valley flowers on May 1 is said to have begun in 1560, when knight Louis Girard presented King Charles IX with a bunch of lily-of-the-valley flowers as a token of luck and prosperity for the coming year."
I don't believe I've ever seen Lily of the Valley being sold here in the States. Maybe there's a nursery somewhere that sells it? I wish I could buy one now.
I just did a Google search of "Lily of the Valley, Utah" and a University of Utah, Utah Poison Control Center page was the first listed, naming Lily of the Valley poisonous. Apparently it's the berries that are occasionally produced which are poisonous. Another website said Lily of the Valley is deer resistant. Interesting fact.
For now I have the Lily of the Valley eau de toilette (toilet water for short) from Yves Rocher, which I ordered online several months ago. I love this fragrance! Smelling it brings me right back to visiting France in May.