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Origin of 1st May, Labour Day, and the French Tradition of giving some Lily of the Valley
1st May and its origin are as old as the world
1st May as Labour Day
The First of May in France
It is during the German occupation, on 24th April 1941, that 1st May was officially marked as Labour Day and became a bank holiday. This measure was brought in with a view to rally the workers to the Vichy regime.
René Belin instigated this measure. He used to be an active member of the CGT (one of the key unions in France) but now found himself one of the junior ministers of the Petain Government.
Lily of the Valley and 1st May
In 1976, Lily of the Valley was finally associated with 1st May and now, millions of sprigs are sold on that day.
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