O, the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!

In France May 1 is Labor Day (la Fête du Travail) and it is customary to exchange lilies of the valley for good luck. This tradition goes all the way back to the French king Charles IX who, on May 1, 1561, received a lily as a good luck charm. He then decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. It’s also a day on which French labor unions protest, but rest assured we won’t treat this as a French labor day!

la Fête du Travail

There’s also another French connection with the origin of “mayday.” The word was coined in 1923 by an English radio officer who worked at the Croydon Airport near London. He was asked to come up with a word that would indicate distress and would be easily understood by pilots and ground personnel in an emergency. Since many flights at that time were between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, he proposed “mayday” from the French “m’aider” (“venez m’aider,” meaning “come help me”).

So if your May Day celebrations have gotten out of hand, and that “mayday” situation arises where you need some emergency cleaning help, we suggest you keep this number on speed dial: 631-725-2128. This will connect you to A Votre Service!—just say “venez m’aider” and we’ll be right over before you can say “tout de suite.”