Happy May Day!

4x4 watercolor and micron pen on 140-lb Arches cold-press ©2010 Christianna Pierce

In many parts of the U.S., we celebrate May Day (May 1st) with small floral baskets surreptitiously left at doorways. The giver places the bouquet on the doorstep, rings the door bell, and runs away.lily of the valley This is one of my favorite traditions because, happily, I am usually the recipient of flowers left by our front door by my sons and/or husband. And I love it because the holiday is a simple celebration of the beauty of spring.

I based my sketch, above, on the lilies-of-the-valley which bloom outside our front door at this time of year (which you can see in in the photo to the left).

The French also have an appreciation of flowers on May Day. In France, May 1 is la fête du muguet; (the festival of the Lily of the Valley), a celebration of friendship, good luck and the arrival of spring.

Below is a video clip of  Le Temps du Muguet as sung by legendary French actress and singer Danielle Darrieux – who was born, coincidentally, on May 1, 1917.

Which is all a very long way to wish you, my dear readers, a very Happy May Day!

Your turn: How do you celebrate May Day?

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6 Responses to Happy May Day!

  1. Avatar simplymevegas
    simplymevegas says:

    Happy May Day to you too! I've lived through dozens of May Days but have never heard of this wonderful tradition. It's fantastic! We celebrated May Day (or just a beautiful Saturday, to be honest) by taking a day trip to the Valley of Fire, about 50 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. It's amazing on its own, but even better today because the wildflowers were in bloom everywhere. They're stunning against the barren red rock formations, and so even though no one brought me flowers, I feel like I got a little piece of this tradition too – Vegas style 🙂

  2. Simplymevegas, those spring wildflowers sound beautiful! I'm happy you enjoyed a lovely May Day 🙂

  3. Avatar minimalistwoman
    minimalistwoman says:

    rabbit rabbit rabbit! i love your little lily of the valley–just the sort of thing i go for. it is also one of my favorite scents.

  4. Avatar nastia00
    nastia00 says:

    I friend if mine who is pregnant and a little overdue really wanted her child to have a May 1st birthday, but alas…

  5. Thank you, minimalistwoman 🙂

    And, I agree, lily of the valley has an absolutely wonderful scent. It is fresh, clean, delicate, and the essence of spring.

  6. Nastia00, I hope your friend has her baby soon. My oldest son was born in the first week of May, so I am very biased in that regard 🙂