Thursday, April 30, 2009

May Day

Take a look at this depiction of le premier mai by La Perriere. A youthful figure constructed from stems of lily-of-the-valley, also carrying a pot of muguets to offer to a special friend, as is the tradition, on the first of May.

But look more closely at the ground beneath his feet.
Do you see the factories in the distance billowing smoke?
This May Day painting has the double message of sweet fragrant flowers and the toiling of the masses. For a bit of history of May Day in France, read here.

Forecast in France for Friday, May 1: protests. And the beginning of a long weekend.

The other French connection with May Day has nothing to do with lilies-of-the-valley or workers' unions. The international distress call, "Mayday, mayday" comes from the French m'aider. But you knew that already.

Related post: Le premier mai.


Starman said...

"The international distress call, "Mayday, mayday" comes from the French m'aider." I didn't know that. Thanks for the info.

YSLGuy said...

I just learned about this tradition and I love it!

DW Quilt Art said...

very interesting! I did not know about m'aider!

Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

thank you for the little lesson! ;-)

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