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Symbol of Workers’ Day, the bell flower is a French staple that exists in the wild and allows some to make ends meet. However, the cultivation of lily of the valley is not the most ecological.
Offer a sprig of lily of the valley on May 1: the “lucky charm” custom is unshakeable in France. In the heads, the flower with small white bells is associated with the workers’ day. Because if, historically, the origins of the gesture go back to the Renaissance, it is at the beginning of the 20th century that the spring flower, delicate, fragrant but toxic, also symbol of the Virgin, settles as an emblem of the established international day in 1889 to commemorate the fight for the eight-hour day. At the time, it was the red wild rose that the workers wore in their buttonhole, most often artificial, thus exposing their Marxist leanings and the memory of the blood shed in worker repression. The flower, a marker of ideological affiliation and which abounds in the North, is however supplanted in the processions by the lily of the valley from the Popular Front, which is definitely preferred by Marshal Pétain for his “Labor Day” in 1941. offering a strand on May 1 therefore has its roots in the Vichy regime. But the flower was already popular among Parisian couturiers in particular – Christian Dior, among others, who dedicated a collection to it in 1954.
Lots of water and chemical inputs
Lily of the valley on May 1 has since become a business, with its logistics chain and its share of lucrative intermediaries. Last year, the French spent 25