Saturday, May 21, 2011

May Day & Pastry-Buying Blackouts

On May 1st, everyone was walking around carrying these tiny packets of flowers:

I had no idea why, but EVERYONE had one, so I felt compelled to partake in what was clearly some sort of official French ritual for May 1st, known as "May Day", the official welcoming of Spring (also Labor Day. )

Here's what Wikipedia, the official source for all things credible, has to say about it:

On May 1st, 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom on the 1st of May, to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime.

So I gave one to myself, I'm so selfish.  But it made a pretty stellar day, as it was a beautiful outside, and I got the best baguette on the street, a little packet of lily of the valley, and a delicious looking macaron.

I also went to check out another bakery/pastry shop nearby, and meant to only take a look, but, because I have no self control, ended up getting this:
Is this what it's like for people who involuntarily murder people and don't remember it?  Like I just black out, and next thing I know, I'm carrying a pastry, and I don't know how it happened? Better than murder I GUESS.  Depending on your priorities.

I love how it's always wrapped up, so you get to open your little gift every time.  Happy May Day to ME!!

Flowers, pastry, why you shouldn't have!
Well, I didn't have much of a choice, because obviously I am an impulse pastry-buyer who blacks out and buys pastries.  It's a wonderful illness to have.  Except for when I start looking like Violet from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.  Just a big blueberry, rolling around Paris.  Note to self: Get a scale that works.

Happy May Day, everyone!  Only 3 weeks late.


  1. Hi Julie - I love your 3-weeks-late May Day post. We celebrated May Day growing up. Every May 1st before work or school usually, the doorbell would ring in the morning. We'd come to answer the door and there would be flowers there...we always knew that my dad was the culprit. Then we had to go running to look for him and when we found him we'd have to give him a kiss. That's our May Day tradition. (I'm not sure where this tradition came from but my family is Scandinavian so maybe somewhere up north.)

    Love your pastry-purchasing compulsion! There's nothing like a REAL French pastry!

    Hope you are well!

  2. Yes! I read that you're supposed to give a packet of flowers to loved ones, and in some cultures, you're supposed to kiss the person who gives you the flowers. I had never heard of this! How fun that you did that growing up!!

  3. aaaaaaand I am caught up.

    I love you in Paris. Paris-Julie makes me hungry by I work off the resulting over-eating with lol's.