Muguet de mai.

So last night I came home to a Lilly of the Valley (Muguet) on the dinner table that the fella brought home. I do SO love when he brings home flowers (darling, if you are reading this hint-hint!) In France it is a tradition to give Lilly of the Valley as a symbol of luck. This tradition began when Charles the IX was given some from the garden of a knight on the 1st of May when he was a boy as a good luck charm. The young king was so pleased that he continued to give stems of lilly of the Valley to all the women in the court every first of May say “And so it shall be every year.”

This tradition was lost for some time but renewed by a french singer in the late 1800s who had been given a bouquet of Lilly of the Valley before a very prestigious concert. As a last minute decision he switched his Camilla buttoner (which was the style at the time for men) for a stem of the white flowers. His concert was an enormous success and he kept the flower as his trademark.

During the Belle Époque the grand maison des couturiers would offer branches to its customers on the 1st of May and soon this flower would become an iconic emblem for Christian Dior. After this the tradition was totally “à La mode in Paris” and stil is today.

img-thingThere are tons of stands outside of each metro selling the little bell-shapped flowers and it is so sweet to see everyone offering them to friends and the ones they love.

I love this tradition because on my very first night out in Paris, the 30th of April 2010, someone bought me a Muguet de mai in a bar. It was a wonderful welcome to a city that I would learn to love.



About Emilie

I'm a small girl with big ambitions and very little common sense it seems. I decided after I graduated from college that I would move from my little city of Lafayette Louisiana to the raging monster city that is Paris. In 4 months of planning I have now uprooted everything I had in an amazing town to live in a truly wild place where I have no idea WHAT I am going to do. But isn't that the fun of it all. So here is cheers to getting lost, breaking hearts, starving, and many wonderful adventures that come along with finding yourself.
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2 Responses to Muguet de mai.

  1. Lovely story, Emilie, and thanks for the history lesson about the lily of the valley. I’ve just learned something today. Beautiful!

  2. maryann says:

    Near our home there’s a farm called La Ferme du Muguet. Every 1st of May we have a food fair there, with lots of lilly of the valley stems for all! Glad the tradition was perpetuated in your home last night!

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