Throughout Europe May First is known as May Day where celebrations and festivities are held to welcome in Spring. In France the first of May is a public holiday officially known as La Fête du Travail (National Labour Day) or La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day). Ever since its introduction from Japan in the Middle Ages, lily of the valley has been regarded as a lucky charm in Celtic circles. King Charles IX of France began the tradition of giving lily of the valley to the ladies of the court in 1561 when he was presented with a bunch of lily of the valley flowers as a token of luck and prosperity for the coming year. The tradition has endured. Today muguet are given as a general token of appreciation between friends and family. As one of my favorite flowers, it was a perfect excuse to have a bouquet to photograph. If only the sweet scent translated in pictures. Happy May Day to You!
Photography Beth Horta for Sweet Sabelle.