May Day is celebrated here in Europe, its origins being the Northern Hemisphere Spring Festival. In the late 19th century, the 1st of May was chosen as the Fête du Travail (International Workers Day) by the socialists and Communists of the Second International. They were an organisation of socialist and labour parties formed on the 14th of July 1889 in Paris.
Today in France most businesses are closed and people may take part in marches across the country.
My favourite part of La Fête du Travail is muguet (lily of the valley). On the 1st of May 1561, King Charles IX of France was given some muguet as a lucky charm. After this he offered the flower each year to the ladies of the court. From the 20th century it became custom for French people to give each other muguet on the 1st. It’s also the only day every citizen has the right to sell it on the street! Even this morning in the rain there were many people on the street selling small sprigs. I have a gorgeous sweet smelling bunch already!