The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005
Calendar of Revelry and Sacred Days
The Floralia was the festival in honor of the Roman deity, Flora, for whom flowers are named. (Yes, there is another goddess named Fauna.) Flora was indigenous to the Roman region although she was there before the Romans. She is believed to be of Sabine or Oscan origin.
Flora is the spirit of blossoming flowers and springtime. She embodies the flowering of all nature, including human. Flowers indicate the promise of reproduction. Flowers lead to fruit as surely as sexual intercourse leads to babies. Flora is the spirit who embodies both the pleasures of the moment and the promise of the future.
The Floralia is believed to be the ancestor of all May Day celebrations. It was celebrated annually from April 28th through the beginning of May. The Floralia honored the female body. Beautiful Flora may be understood as the original Queen of the May. The festival was celebrated in the nude until the third century CE when Roman authorities demanded that revelers be clothed. The festival survived in this fashion until the next century, when all pagan festivals were banned. Although all flowers are sacred to Flora, her favorites are fragile, transient bean blossoms.