The arrival of Spring…

or Printemps in French, has allowed nature to shake off the cold of the long winter months.  The world seems to be bursting with colors and life — doing away with the drab and bleak silence of snow.  In France, they celebrate the coming of Spring in the form of May Day (Fete du Travail) on May 1st.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley

On May Day, it is common to see the plant, Lily of the Valley, sold on street corners and roadsides.  It is a tradition created by King Charles IX who believed it was a lucky charm and gave Lily of the Valley each year to the women of his court.  The French people take advantage of this holiday by enjoying the parks or going to their vacation cottages in the countryside.