La Roche Bernard

Introduction to La Roche-Bernard La Roche-Bernard is a small town in Southern Brittany. It is a very exciting place to visit for many reasons. The town is situated on the River Vilaine, and plays host to a myriad of small boats in its natural harbour. Two superb...

Local Activities

Whatever your interests, the Brittany / Pays de la Loire region of France certainly offers an incredible range of local activities. From walking to sailing or from playing golf to relaxing on one of the many glorious sandy beaches. Do you prefer a self-catering...

La Brière

A 5 minute drive from La Roche Bernard takes you to the Parc Naturel Régional de La Brière. The park includes the largest wetland area in France outside of the Camargue. It covers around 100,000 acres. Its establishment in 1970 aimed to  protect the cultural and...

Markets in France selling food, crafts and antiques

Visiting local food, craft, and antiques markets in France is one of the most pleasurable experiences enjoyed by holidaymakers. This certainly applies to Brittany and the Pays de la Loire regions. Whether you are looking for local Pottery, Speciality salt from the...

Holiday Website Tips (2) – Be easy to contact

Make sure there is a clear and obvious way for people to get in touch with you wherever they are on your website. Failure to do so could result in lots of potential bookings finding their way to somebody else's website. A few simple ideas may make all the difference...
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Picture of Muguet or Lily of the Valley

Labour Day Flower – Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley – The Tradition

The Pays de la Loire region of France produces a huge amount of Lily of the Valley (or Muguet). In fact, it produces over 40% of the entire French crop.

Muguet is extremely popular amongst the French, especially around May day each year when it is offered to friends to wish them luck, and, although originating in Japan, has been cultivated in France since the middle ages.

This year the crop has been really slow, due to the cold weather, and so production is really down on previous years. This is bound to have an effect on prices – odd to think that a plant that is completely poisonous can command premium prices.

It was on 1st May 1561 that Charles IX started a tradition of giving a small piece of lily of the valley to bring luck, although it wasn’t until 1936 that the flower became associated with the labour day in France (the Fête du Travail).

Fête du Travail et des Travailleurs

The date of 1st May was adopted as the Fête du Travail et des Travailleurs in 1889 in memory of people who had died demonstrating for an eight hour working day in the Chicago riots.

In 1890 during a demonstration in Paris, workers wore a red triangle in their buttonholes to symbolise the ideal division of the day into three equal parts comprising work, rest and leisure. Later this red triangle was replaced by the wild rose and eventually by the lily of the valley, linking this flower with the Fête du Travail ever since. However, it wasn’t until 1936 that lily of the valley was first offered for sale to celebrate the 1st May.

How to grow Lily of the Valley

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