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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May Day

The First of May is a big holiday in France. It is the "fête du Travail" or "Labor Day" which we in the U.S. celebrate on the first Monday in September. People were bummed this year because the fête du Travail fell on a Saturday and they didn't even get a long weekend.

The labor unions typically march in big parades on May Day, but I didn't go see them. I was busy exploring my new neighborhood. Even more popular than parades, are the bouquets of "muguet" (lily of the valley) that you see everywhere. The first of May is the only day of the year when anyone and everyone can set up a stand to sell the fragrant little plants. They are reputed to bring good luck and EVERYONE buys them.

Here is what they look like:

I was going to buy some from this wide eyed little girl:

But before I could do so, this fellow arrived and gruffly took away her earnings:

It seemed pretty exploitive to me, so I waited until I found a friendlier seller with prettier plants . . .

I kept some for myself, and gave some to my friend Odette. She goes in for surgery on Friday and I think she could use some good luck.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elaine, I finally got to your blog with Anne's help. You've been in my thoughts and now that I see your pictures and read your text, I want to celebrate the fact that you are a true bon vivant. How can we bring Europe's sensual pleasure back with us and make it part of our daily lives here? That's what part of my journey is...Can't wait to share la dolce vita with you in Lucca. Much love, Dee