Muguet- Lily-of-the-valley a beautiful French tradition
On the 1st of May in France, you can buy lovely sprigs of “Muguet” or Lily-of-the-valley to give to loved ones. I would always go out and buy some for my mum and I remember being able to go out to buy some on my own as we had a vendor at the end of our street!
The tradition of giving lily-of-the-valley started with King Charles IX who was given a sprig of lily-of-the-valley as a good luck token for the coming year. He doesn’t know who gave it to him but he decided to give all the court ladies every year on the 1st of May a sprig.
That tradition revived in the early 20th century and men started giving lily-of-the-valley to their loved ones or they would send postcards with Lily-of-the-valley designs. And that tradition has stayed till today.
There’s also a lovely legend about the first lily-of-the-valley falling in love with a Nightingale. The Nightingale was pearched on a tree above the flower. The lily-of-the-valley was very shy and didn’t open up. So then The nightingale flew away and the lily-of-the-valley was really sad. But one day the nightingale came back and the Lily-of- the-valley opened. The nightingale sung. It’s a symbol of refound love. It’s a beautiful little story- don’t you think?.
Lily-of-the-valley has been used a lot in wedding bouquets famously for Kate Middleton’s bouquet for her wedding with Prince William.
We created a cushion “Muguet” with a beautiful silk ribbon that comes from an archive CW Lyon which was one of the famous ribbon manufacturers in St Étienne, France. It dates of the late late 1800s. Woven on a Jacquard loom, the design is super fine and beautiful. You can see it here