Flowers, especially lupins, were scattered over the crowds enjoying the festivities to promote fertility - but it was also a celebration of sex for pleasure as well as procreation. There were games, theatrical performances and ceremonies in which sacrifices were made to the goddess. According to historian Ed Whalen: "Some scholars believe that the Floralia was the inspiration for the May Day Festival."
Flora's origin storyis told by Ovid: Zephyrus, the West Wind, kissed the nymph Chloris who as a result became deified as Flora. The goddess later helped Juno become pregnant with Mars by giving her a magical flower.
A bit of folklore in Every Day Magic - A Pagan Book of Day also links the end of April to May with weather and flower lore: "Sweet April showers/Do spring May flowers. (From a poem written in 1610)"
Over the last week or so I've beeng posting pictures of spring blooms on my blog, and this carries on the theme. If you have a photo of flowers you'd like to share, please leave a comment. In particular, it would be great to see some pictures of lupins if you spot any growing!
The picture at the top is a Jill in the Green I created from flowers and leaves from my garden a couple of years ago.
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