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French word of the Day: Muguet

French word of the Day: Muguet
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Have you organised the sourcing of your good luck muguet de mai?

Why do I need to know muguet?

Because it's particularly important to have one on May 1st and it will bring you and your loved ones good luck.

What does it mean?

It's a type of flower, a lily-of-the-valley in English.

But it has a more cultural role to play in France than just being pretty and fragrant.

May 1st is an important day in France; it's a public holiday, it marks the day of workers' rights and there are usually demonstrations.

READ ALSO How France will mark May 1st under lockdown

 

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And it's also traditional to buy muguet or muguet de mai as they're sometimes known.

This traditional goes right back to 1561.

Apparently on May 1st that year France's King Charles IX was given a muguet flower as a lucky charm and liked it so much that he decided to offer them each year to the ladies of the court.

These days French people buy bouquets of muguet and give them to friends and family and loved ones on May 1st to bring good luck.

They're normally sold in florists and by street sellers, but this year, under lockdown restrictions, they will be sold instead in the essential stores that remain open such as supermarkets.

And it's a sign of how important they are in French culture that Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume, in the middle of dealing with a global pandemic, took the time to tweet to reassure the French people that the flowers will be available this year. 

 

 


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