Why you might see your neighbours gardening naked this weekend

The annual day is intended to remind people of the links between humans and nature, and provide a fun outlet for naturists, of which there are two million in France

29 April 2021
By Hannah Thompson

Your tomatoes might not be the only thing blushing red this weekend, as this Saturday May 1 is the 16th annual World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD).

As it sounds, the day encourages gardening and naturist enthusiasts to combine their hobbies and garden in the nude.

First launched in 2005 by Mark Storey, the consulting editor of Seattle-based American magazine Nude & Natural, and permaculturist Jacob Gabriel, the day always takes place on the first Saturday in May, and is intended to remind people of the links between humans and nature.

It also aims to give naturists a chance to garden outside for one day a year. There are more than two million naturists in France.

In France, national naturism group La fédération nationale du naturisme (FNN) encourages people to take part in the day, and it says that gardening nude - with the risk of scratches and insect bites - also highlights the vulnerability of humans in nature.

The FNN said: “We can see it as a moment of relaxation, to de-stress.”

In the US, the day is also endorsed by The Naturist Society.

As reported by NBC's Today, WNGD "has become an annual tradition that celebrates weeding, planting flowers and trimming hedges in the buff. 

“While it's linked to a movement of nudists who promote wholesome and unashamed acceptance of the human body, the day is meant to be funny, lighthearted and non-political.”

You may wish to decide closer to the time whether you will take part in WNGD this year, as the weather forecast across France is decidedly mixed this Saturday - ranging from 11C and sunny in the north, to 18C but cloudy in the south east, and 16C and rainy in and around Lyon.

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