Traditionally offered on May 1, Labor Day, lily of the valley is a lucky charm. How did he become
Its bell-shaped white flowers twinkle every year on the first of May. The symbol of Labor Day, the lily of the valley is traditionally offered as a lucky charm. Identifiable among a thousand by its appearance and its scent, also known as “lily of the valleys”, its origin is found in the Old French “mug”, which means “musk” (from the Greek “muscos” and probably from Iranian “muska”, “testicles”), because of its smell.
An ideal plant since Greek antiquity, legend has it that the god Apollo would cover Mount Parnassus with lilies of the valley so that his feet would not scratch his feet while climbing. In ancient Rome, among the Celts as well as in Nordic tradition, lily of the valley symbolizes the peak of spring. It is honored during ceremonies performed for Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, then in festivities during which villagers plant “trees” to drive away evil spirits. We also find the symbol in Christianity, the lily of the valley representing the tears shed by Mary at the foot of the cross.
hope for social harmony
As we can read on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture in France, the tradition of offering lilies of the valley as lucky charms dates back to the Renaissance. “Having received a sprig of lily of the valley while preaching in Drem, King Charles IX set out to abolish the custom by installing it at court.” During the Revolution, it was associated with Republic Day, before Labor Day was established in France in the first half of the 20th century.
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On April 24, 1941, under the Vichy government, the lily of the valley, synonymous with luck, became the symbol of the day, historically associated with the red wild rose. In bunches, pots or twigs, lily of the valley flowers on May 1 have brought hope for “social harmony” ever since.