May Day: Our beautiful photos of Lilies of the Valley

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Last week we went on a walk in a forest in Alsace to look for lilies of the valley. Here are a few photos of ‘muguet’ taken on site!


Le muguet du printemps

The First of May is a public holiday in France known as “La Fête du Travail”. It is tradition to offer a sprig or a bouquet of lilies of the valley to loved ones and colleagues at work. Some people who live close to a forest in northern France walk to a ‘secret place’ where the spring flower abounds.

Much smaller than their cultivated counterparts, wild lilies from the woods have a pleasant smell. The French call it “le muguet”.

Our ‘secret place’ for picking wild lilies is found in a forest in southern Alsace near the little town of Altkirch… but don’t even think looking for this place too as our ‘muguet’ was 3 weeks early!

Lilies of the Valley in forest © French Moments

Lilies of the Valley © French Moments

Lilies of the Valley from the woods © French Moments

A sprig of lily of the valley © French Moments

A sprig of lily of the valley in Alsace © French Moments


English-French Vocabulary

(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs

  • bunch = bouquet (m)
  • flower = fleur (f)
  • forest = forêt (f)
  • leaf = feuille (f)
  • lily of the valley = muguet (m)
  • May = mai (m)
  • May Day = Premier mai (m)
  • to pick = cueillir (v)
  • sprig = brin (m)
  • spring = printemps (m)

Find out more about May Day and lilies of the valley in France here.

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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