At last, we have our weekend. Much of the northern hemisphere is now decked out in beautiful green leaves and there are flowers here and there, as well. So, this is a great time for another Roman holiday, too. From now, until May third is the traditional celebration of Floralia.
Floralia is associated with the goddess Flora. She is a somewhat minor diety in Roman mythology, but because she’s associated with springtime and fertility she has her own festival. She even had her own temples.
The goddess was married to the wind god Favonius. She was also a companion of Hercules. Her festival days were marked with milk and honey offerings made to her images. The temples of the gods were decorated with flowers. The citizens of Rome dressed themselves in colorful tunics and robes instead of the regular white clothing they wore the rest of the year.
In spite of being celebrated during her own feast days, Flora was not a major figure. She became much more popular during the European Renaissance among humanist thinkers. She is quite popular today among the neo-pagans among us.
You also have likely figured out that Flora lends her name to the current English word meaning the plant life of a geographical region. She is also associated with the floral arts.
I hope you can enjoy some beautiful plants and flowers, especially during the next few days during Floralia. Happy Florifertum!
The Blue Jay of Happiness notes that the celebrants of Floralia enjoyed drinking, dancing and flowers.