9 Flora/May 24
Tomorrow is the wonderful feast of flowers or Floralia, as it is known in the Janite Tradition.
This ancient Roman custom, had, unfortunately, descended into debauchery after a while, but here is a refreshing story: http://www.novaroma.org/nr/Floralia
When I was still living at my Parent’s home fresh cut large purple Lilacs filled our home with the most wonderful scent around the time of the Floralia! Flowers, from my Mother’s garden and also from the florist, were given to other family members, friends and placed on the graves of my ancestors. Beginning with Juno, Matronalia, on the kalends of March and honoring the Spring Goddesses such as Venus Mater, to whom I was dedicated, and Ceres, we continued our Spring celebrations honoring Flora. Floralia was special to my mother and we would honor Flora with ritual and offerings of milk and honey every May 1st – the month of my mother’s birth- and have a mini- Floralia with family and friends the Sunday afterwards. I continue this tradition today – and like my Father I also incorporated chocolate animals and eggs (which we also got on “Eastre”, sometimes getting a jump on Floralia, so we would not feel so different from others – and on May 1st we would attend a “flower dance” and a Maypole celebration if one was available. This tradition of attending public “flower dances” I have occasionally continued after moving to the south, however when I was on business in Europe there were no lack of “flower dances” and Maypole celebrations. The main feast was held on the first Sunday of Floralia and included roasted Lamb, homemade breads, fresh and roasted spring vegetables, fruits, nuts and a variety of delicious pastries – although now more often than not we go to a restaurant. http://www.novaroma.org/nr/Floralia
What a beautiful feast day…. to celebrate one of the greatest gifts from Dea to Her children. The myriad variety and exquisite beauty of flowers surround us as Nature revives after a long Winter slumber. (Depending upon where we live, of course!)
This is a day to study the fragile nature of wildflowers, many of which are on the danger of extinction list. It’s always best not to pick wildflowers, as not only are many endangered, but cut wildflowers don’t tend to last very long, anyway.
It’s a wonderful time to plant a wildflower garden which would attract butterflies, bees and other carriers of life and beauty. A study of Spring flowers in your area will enable you to learn more about your local flora and fauna.
We have finally moved to our new, humble home by the lake. While it is still too cold to plant much of anything, as yet, I am planning my area in honor of Dea. Right now, I simply have a statue of a fairy who guards the land, 🙂 along with two plaque-garden stones, one of the sun and the other of the moon. These, of course, represent the Celestial Mother and the Holy Daughter. Near this, I will place an arbor with climbing roses and I will place beneath the arbor, a statue of Our Lady, overlooking the lake.
Floralia is a fun day for all kinds of family crafts, including fashioning flowers out of tissue paper, silk or ribbon. Making wreaths, hair accessories or crocheted flower jewelry are some other ideas. It’s never too late for making May baskets! Or teaching the children how to grow their own little gardens.
Here is a stunning flower cake:
And look at this amazing crystal flower:
And let’s not forget to offer Our Lady some flowers for Her altar! Irises, lilacs and lilies are beginning to bloom in my own area. Pansies, peonies and marigolds are available from nurseries.
Food should be light and airy. A meatless entree’ is a great idea for Floralia. Angel food cake, meringues, flower wines, fresh Spring vegetables and fruits help to make a festive fare.
While this is a minor feast day and so neither the RoS or the liturgy are celebrated, let us remember to thank Our Lady for such a great gift…for such a great variety of that which reflect the flowers of the Heavenly realm.
Praise be to Our Lady.
Be sure to check out the links to the left to see what our sisters in the Faith are doing for Floralia! And let us remember that the goddess, Flora, illustrates the beautiful artistic aspect of Our Divine Creatrix.
Let us bless the Holy One,
Blessed is She.
Let us thank the Seven Janati of Power.
Thanks be to the Seven Janite.
ArchMadria Pamela Lanides