May is the month of the lily of the valley, or muguet. The custom in France is to give a bouquet--or even just a stem--of the fragrant woodland plant to friends and loved ones on the first of May. If the muguet is not handpicked, then it can be easily purchased on almost any street corner where vendors set up stands for the day to sell this indispensable porte-bonheur. In the language of flowers, muguets with their tiny white clochettes, represent the return of happiness.
une clochette: a little bell
un brin de muguet: a sprig of lily of the valley
une porte-bonheur: a lucky charm
acheter du muguet: to buy lily of the valley for good luck