In ancient Greece festival Floralia was a blissful and lighthearted way to honour Flora - goddess of spring - and to celebrate the rebirth of the seasons. Long live Spring, long live Floralia_______.
‘WHEN SHE SPOKE, HER LIPS BREATHED SPRING ROSES. AND JUST LIKE SPRING ITSELF, FLORA RADIATED WITH UNEARTHLY BEAUTY_______.’
A time of renewal, a warm breeze and the return of all things green; spring is a time when the cares and melancholy of winter melt away and make room for the new, a promise of what’s to come. The ancient Greeks enjoyed the spring as much as we do today, enjoying the warm sun, their spirit reviving and energy increasing as the world came to life after a long snow-covered sleep. And naturally they took the time to breathe in the fresh fragrances of the blooming flowers that made their way through the wintry soil, all thanks to the less well-known but very important goddess Flora (also known as Chloris), the ancient Greek goddess of youth, of spring and of flowers.
FloraliaTo honour Flora the Greeks organised a fabulous Floralia festival every year that was traditionally held between 28th of April and 3rd of May. For five days pantomimes were performed and mime artists filled the streets; the men were decorated with flowers, the women in - normally prohibited - daring gay costumes, together with a hint of brash nudity. It was a glorious and happy way to celebrate the amazing annual cycle of life; to honour nature and its mysterious ways. According to Flora in Ovid's Fasti 5 (Roman poestry) Floralia was like a seductive garden of pleasures: “The gifts of the goddess frame our delights. The brows of drinkers were wreathed with woven garlands, polished tables were buried under showers of fragrant rose petals. Maudlin guests danced, with linden wreathes around their flower-scented garb, whilst the lavishly-poured wine aids indiscretion. Drunken admirers serenade at the closed doors of ladies fair with soft garlands in their perfumed locks. No serious business was done, because no-one who is draped in flowers drinks water.’
Surfeit of colour
When she spoke, her lips breathed spring roses. And just like spring itself, Flora radiated with unearthly beauty. It was clear that she married the great Favonius, god of the wind, also known as Zephyr, with Hercules at her side as her best man. She declared: ‘I who now am called Flora was formerly Chloris (Chloris means green and fresh in ancient Greek). A nymph of the happy fields of Elysium where dwelt blessed men in earlier times. I enjoy perpetual spring; the sun shines always, the trees are clothed with leaves, the soil produces ample food. In my dew-covered fields I have a fruitful garden, fanned by the gentle breeze and watered by clear springs. Oft did I wish to count the colours, but could not; their extravagant abundance defeated me. As soon as the rime is shaken from the leaves and the dew-covered blossom is warmed by the sunbeams, the seasons assemble, clad in coloured dresses, and cover my gifts in radiant light_______. ‘
‘AS SOON AS THE RIME IS SHAKEN FROM THE LEAVES, AND THE DEW-COVERED BLOSSOM IS WARMED BY THE SUNBEAMS, THE SEASONS ASSEMBLE, AND CLAD IN THEIR BEAUTIFUL CLOTHES_______.
Cast of flowers
Flowers and Set design
Amy Humpries @ Margot De Roquefeil
Tasha @ Supreme Management.
Félix Seiler Sedi
Set Design Assistant
Alix De Roquefeil
Mélanie Rey and Félix Seiler Sedi
Summer Spliffs by Broke For Free