Legends and facts about the lily of the valley
Lily of the valley may be the official flower of May Day, the time of year when the winter officially becomes summer, the dark days turn to light, and people come out of doors. While May Day is a day of celebration, the lily of the valley’s origins are said to come from tears. According to legend, when Eve was driven from the Garden of Eden, her tears turned to lily of the valley. Mary’s tears also turned to lily of the valley when she cried at the cross.
Flowers play an important role in our lives. The Victorians used flowers everywhere and assigned meaning to them. Lily of the valley was said to convey beauty, purity, the return of happiness, sweetness, and humility. Today, they are often carried in wedding bouquets. Many newly married couples plant them in their garden as a reminder of the love each time the lily blooms. It is considered good luck to go to the woods and pick a bouquet each spring. Since they are associated with the Virgin Mary, they are often associated with chaste and virginal women.
Lily of the valley is a popular flower used to celebrate May Day. Its specific name, “Majalis” means “belonging to May”. In France, the flower is known as “porte-bonheur”, literally meaning “bringer of happiness”. On May Day, the French streets will be full of the flower, and every person will likely be carrying a bundle until even the Metro will be full of its scent.
Like most plants, lily of the valley is associated with curative qualities. The scent of the plant is said to be good for depression, imbue gentleness, happiness, modesty, a sweet disposition and a sense of security. It is a diuretic that can lower blood pressure and affect the heart rate,. The Food and Drug Administration, however, considers lily of the valley an unsafe and poisonous plant. Most experts do not recommend lily of the valley for healing purposes since there are tested and proven drugs available. Ingestion can lead to blurred vision, excessive urination, confusion, vomiting, headache, and irregular or slow heartbeat.
Throughout history, lovers have given flowers to each other. Flowers were designed to attract birds, insects and people. Flowers have evolved throughout centuries to become as beautiful as they are - it is their beauty that draws us to them. The sole purpose of all that makes a flower so beautiful is attraction.