According to Urban Dictionary

Boheme - Carefree lifestyle unbounded by convention.

Bohemian - Movement of artist and poets in late 19th century France, especially in Paris. Bohemians believed in living outside of the bourgeois (conventional, middle class) mainstream culture. Bohemians were against the Salon (the institution that controlled the literary and art market in France until the turn of the 20th century)and believed that art and literature should be radical. They often gathered in "cafes" and drank absinthe. Many Bohemians were politically radical, being either anarchists or members of the Commune de Paris during the Franco-Prussian war. The Bohemian movement died out at the turn of the century but had a large influence on later movements such as surrealism, the beat generation, and punk rock.
Toulouse - Lautrec depicted the romanticized life of many Bohemians, although the reality of the life-style was often very difficult and tragic.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day!

Today is the first of May and one of the charming french customs is the buying of a pot or bouquet of Muguet de Bois ( Lily of the Valley), for yourself, a friend or a partner. Lily of the Valley is referred to as a "porte-bonheur" which means "bringer of happiness" and is considered to be a good luck charm. I love this idea as it seems to me to stem back to the Pagan holiday of Beltaine, the celebration of fertility and the first planting of the season. Everywhere around Paris people set up street stalls selling pots of Muguet de Bois. It is the only day when it is actually legal for random street sellers to sell without a permit and many kids set up stalls for pocket money. I browsed the stalls in my area and settled on a nice purple bucket of lily of the valley and now the fragrance is wafting around in my little apartment as I type this.

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