As I’ve mentioned before, May Day (the first of May) is a big deal in France, and it is to me as well, for several reasons. It’s the French equivalent of Labor Day, and often the French get to do what they call ‘make a bridge’, like this year the 1st of May falls on Tuesday, so everything will be closed all week end, Monday (the bridge), and Tuesday (the actual holiday). It’s a particularly nice holiday, because everyone gives everyone else ‘lily of the valley’ for good luck. they are sold in little pots, bouquets, or just a sprig, and there are vendors on nearly every street corner selling them, with the delicate scent of lily of the valley fragrant in the air.
This holiday is particularly dear to my heart because my son Nick’s birthday was May 1st, which has always added special meaning to that day for me. And now that he’s gone, I give a May Day dinner for close friends every year on that date. I have lily of the valley on the table, and give everyone who comes their own little vase of lily of the valley. I even have plates and glasses and napkins with lily of the valley on them. It is a special day for me, and even though I am sad that he is no longer here, it warms my heart to be with friends, and celebrate the day. It is a day that is about good feelings, and warm gestures of friendship as people exchange the pretty flowers. Lily of the valley will always make me think of him!!
This year I’m having an Italian dinner in my kitchen in Paris, and there will be ten of us, eating yummy Italian food, with lots of delicious pasta and maybe tiramisu for dessert. And at the end of the evening, everyone will go home with their little vase of flowers.
Usually, May Day in Paris is a beautiful warm spring day, and we had gorgeous warm spring like weather in March, but April has been cold and rainy and it feels like winter again. So I hope we get a reprieve from the weather on May 1st. It’s a beautiful feel-good day, and I hope the weather will make it even more so, instead of shivering in the rain. It has been very chilly in Paris!!!
I hope your May Day is lovely too! love, Danielle