A Letter From Burgundy

May 13, 2012

Traditions

Filed under: Events and markets,Gardening and weather — Lesley @ 09:21

May Day – La Fête du Muguet or La Fête du Travail is a public holiday in France and while trade unions and other organisations may choose this day to organise parades in towns and cities to campaign for workers’ rights other people, especially in rural France, will give bouquets of Lily of the Valley to loved ones and close friends. This tradition is believed to have been started by King Charles IX in 1561 when he sent each Royal Princess in France a stem of Muguet as good luck. Around the 1900’s men started giving the flowers as tokens of love or affection to their girlfriends. Today, bakers and florists will usually incorporate these flowers into their displays and individuals and organisations are given special dispensations to sell them without having to pay taxes or work within retail regulations!

 

Lily of the Valley

Another lovely tradition this month comes from Australia and New Zealand where each year on ANZAC Day families still make special biscuits which were sent overseas to serving soldiers during World War One. The biscuits (Google ANZAC biscuits) have excellent keeping properties hence being able to take weeks to reach their destination.

In our family we have our own little tradition. When a new grandchild is born we plant an acorn and watch the Oak tree grow. Not quite the same as some families do in the Mediterranean where they plant an olive tree on the birth of a child  but  “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow”  This is Sasha’s oak tree. She was born in Sydney in January of this year and will be in Burgundy to see her tree this summer.

Sasha's Oak tree after 4 months

Finally, thanks to the rain we have had lately other flowers doing exceptionally well are the wisteria and lilacs which seem to be everywhere at the moment. We have a young wisteria on the front of our house which is yet to flower and we wonder how long it will be until it has flowers like this one on the main road through Couches…..

Wisteria in Couches