‘Le Fête du Travail’. Contrary to its name this is the day when no one works! On 1st May everyone gets a holiday. There is a quaint custom of giving lily-of-the-valley flowers to family and friends. Charles IX started the tradition and to give a bunch is a ‘porte-bonheur’ – a good luck symbol. Sellers set up stalls at every intersection and roundabout with bowls of water containing their freshly picked sprigs. Apparently, it is the only day when Joe Bloggs can try to make a bit of money for himself AND, strangely for France, there is no law that prevents him. But beware, for should you dare to add a little rose bud to the freshly picked woodland flowers you could be in trouble. ‘Art floral’ can only be practiced by trained professional florists. Your efforts at adornment could be seen as competition and lead to job losses amongst that profession! Go to jail!

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