May Day in Paris

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

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7 Comments so far
  1. mary May 1, 2012 12:04 pm

    Hi Danielle,
    I wish I could send you a lily of the valley, when my brothers birthday came around I gave my mom a bunch of mixed flowers in his memory, he was such a beautiful soul I wish the world could have known him. He was always so gentle and quiet and spring ment so much to him.I hope anyone who has lost someone knows that the love we have for them remains,and we can celebrate our luck in the blessing they were and will remain a part of our lives.
    With warm thoughts,

  2. Deborah Hammond May 1, 2012 9:17 pm


    You are so amazing. I will never think of May Day the same again. I will think of you admirably and your positively sweet tradition surrounding your son’s birthday.


  3. Judy Alder May 3, 2012 8:43 pm

    I have read everyone of your books, i am now just finishing the latest book Betrayal, and i hate to finish it…Makes me sad to finish one of your books, i really wish you could write them faster…lol, a little humor…I really enjoy each and everyone of your books, have them all…Much love and hope you have a fantastic Mother’s Day!!!

  4. Vicky Healey May 6, 2012 5:45 pm

    Hi Danielle, thankyou for your inspiring blogs. Jesus is “The Lily Of The Valley” One day soon the whole earth will be filled with His Sweet Fragrance. I live in Australia and spent a short few days in France. You are so Blessed to be able to enjoy the different customs and cultures. God Bless you and your family and may you be surrounded by the sweet fragrance of “The Lily Of The Valley” every day. Love Vicky Healey

  5. Jan Moran May 20, 2012 9:17 am

    Hello Danielle, really enjoying reading your blog! I was in Paris last week, and I agree, it has been a chilly spring! I’m so blessed that my business life demands I split my time between Europe and San Diego. Also wanted to express my appreciation for your encouragement of new writers. Although I’ve written nonfiction for the beauty industry, my first novel just came out this month, on May Day, a special day to me, too. And yes, part of it takes place in Paris, and another part in California. Your books were an early inspiration to me, and your new works often accompany me on long plane flights. Thank you for your writing! It matters to so many people. And enjoy Paris!
    A bientot,

  6. jam ham tam December 3, 2012 3:40 pm

    dam french people have may day as 1st of may dam u

  7. Sue Wolfe December 18, 2012 2:10 pm


    If you like May Day as much as I do, check my children’s book out called:

    LILY BOUQUET AND A SPECIAL MAY DAY (takes place in Paris)

    It’s for kids between the ages of 0-99!!!! LOL!!!!!

    my web site is:

    Enjoy! xoxoxoxoxxo