Ist May French
Vintage and Victorian Cards
The French tradition of giving
lily-of-the-valley (muguet) flowers on May Day
is supposed to have begun
on 1st May 1561, when King Charles IX of France
was presented with a bunch
of lily-of-the-valley flowers
as a token of luck and prosperity
for the coming year.
History does not record who
it was that presented the King with this perfumed gift,
but he took a shine to this
idea and began the custom of presenting muguet flowers
to the ladies of his court
each year on May 1st.
From around 1900 it became traditional in France for men
to present a bouquet of muguet
to their sweethearts to express
their love and affection.
Nowadays muguet flowers are
also given as a general token of appreciation
between close friends and
This custom has now been adopted
by other european countries.
(Not in England unfortunately!!!!!)