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Lily of the valley

THE LEGEND OF THE LILY OF THE VALLEY

In spring, the month of May is no doubt when flowers bloom at their maximum splendour.

The lily of the valley blooms usually on the 1st of May and in some countries where it grows, tradition has it that offering the plant brings good luck.

The scientific name of the lily of the valley ~ maialis ou majalis ~ means "that which belongs to Maia", because according to old Greek and Roman astrological books this flower was under the protection of Hermes (for the Greeks) or Mercury (for the Romans), the son of the goddess Maia.

The lily of the valley is believed to bring happiness. Legend tells that one day a lily of the valley took affection for a nightingale that, perched on a branch of a tree above, day after day filled the woods with his enchanting singing. The lily of the valley fell in love with the nightingale but she was very shy and did not dare to show herself. One day, alas, the nightingale did not come any more, the lily of the valley waited for him in vain. Out of sadness, the lily of the valley only bloomed again when the bird came back to the woods in May, bringing happiness to the lily of the valley that so became, in the language of the flower, a symbol of happiness.

The lily of the valley is also a symbol of humility, generally reproduced in religious paintings. According to a Christian legend, Mary's tears turned into a lily of the valley when she cried at the cross for the death of her son Jesus. And this is the reason why this flower is also known in some languages as "Mary's tears".

King Solomon, who was celebrated in Antiquity for his sense of justice, also makes reference to the lily of the valley in some of his poems of the “Song of Songs”.

This humble but beautiful flower is a source of inspiration for a better world, since it is considered to be a sign of Christ's second coming. In the language of the flower, the lily of the valley means "return of happiness".

© Dulce Rodrigues

 

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