May Day! May Day! The First of May- A Holiday in France (with pictures!)

The First of May is a holiday in France, known as La Fête du Travail (National Labor Day) or La Fête du Muguet (Lily of the Valley Day). Oddly, the whole 'labor day' movement in France began in Chicago (where I consider my 'roots') in 1886, when the American Unions campaigned for 8-hour work days. In 1889, France chose May 1st as their 'labor day,' to commemorate the Chicago events.

But The First of May is not all about work and no play. There's some romance, baby!

Since the early 1900s, it's been a tradition for men to offer sprigs of lily-of-the- valley (muguet in Français, and pronounced mew-gay) to their sweethearts. Today, it isn't uncommon to offer flowers to close friends, family members, or neighbors. (I lucked out! I received two bouquets today- one from my husband, who ran out this morning when I was showering, and one from neighbors).

Every year, my little town south of Toulouse hosts a grand marché. Believe me, there is something for everyone-- blocks and blocks of stalls, selling everything from cheeses to clothes and soaps to saucissons. Later this evening, a New Orleans style jazz band will play center stage. There will be wine and dancing and revelry. Am I going back? You betcha'!

Until then, enjoy these photos...

Say cheese!
This little piggy went to the market...
Sail away!
But not too far!
Beautiful craftsmanship and details, but tiny boats (not fit for humans!)
My husband's idea of heaven: different varieties of saucissons- fig, pepper, nuts...

Lots of people out and about.

You'll need a basket to carry your breads and cheeses...

For the little ones...

Let's go fish...uh, ducks!

I LOVE all the wonderful soaps.

Happy First of May!
Please accept some 'virtual muguet'
and a Gros Bisous from Toulouse!




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