May Day in France is called La Fete du Muguet, which means the Holiday for Lily of the Valley Flowers. The French traditionally surprise their loved ones with bouquets of these adorable bell-shaped flowers to wish them happiness and celebrate Spring's arrival.
According to the tradition, you are supposed to handpick the muguet (pronounced moo-gay) in the forest, not the valley, even though we call them Lilies of the Valley!
Since such a search could be very time-consuming, the French, who enjoy a minimum of 6 weeks' paid vacation per year, declared it a non-working holiday. Et voila: the entire country gets the day off to go flower-picking!
For those who prefer to leave the romping in the forest to someone else, you'll find plenty of people selling these cute little flowers at roadside stands, markets, and in the towns. In fact, selling "muguet" on the 1st of "mai" (yes, it even rhymes!) is the only thing one can sell in France without a permit. The only requirement is that a muguet seller must stay at least 100 meters away from a flower shop. As you can imagine, lots of French would-be-entrepreneurs surface every May 1st, and their prices vary wildly.
Thankfully, here in the States, surprising your loved ones is much easier than organizing a French bouquet of muguet on the 1st of May. You know what to do......just call us for bon bons: 910-762-6882.