Floralia is a Roman Festival held from April 27th (28th according to Ovid) to May 3rd symbolizing the renewal of life. A temple was built to honor the goddess of flowers and blossoming plants, Flora. In 263 BCE it was dedicated on April 27 (April 28th according to Ovidus) to May 2nd or 3rd to the Goddess Flora and the festival of Floralia was first declared to solicit her protection, propitiousness of crops and flowers in gardens and fields and wealth. Favonius, the God of the West Wind had authority over plants and flowers and upon taking by force, the Nymph, Flora, into marriage He gifted that dominion to the Goddess as amends. Flora was honored as a fertility Goddess by the Sabines an old Italic tribe of the Apennines before the founding of Rome. The Goddess can avert the fungal disease of plants, particularly wheat, known as rust that causes iron colored growths. “Itaque iidem floralia iiii kal. easdem instituerunt urbis anno dxvi ex oraculis sibyllae, ut omnia bene deflorescerent. hunc diem Varro determinat sole tauri partem xiiii obtinente. ergo si in hoc quadriduum inciderit plenilunium, fruges et omnia, quae florebunt, laedi necesse erit.” “The same people also, in the year of the City 513, instituted the Floralia, a festival held upon the fourth before the calends of May, in accordance with the oracular injunctions of the Sibyl, to secure a favorable season for the blossoms and flowers. Varro fixes this day as the time at which the sun enters the fourteenth degree of Taurus. [April 28] If there should happen to be a full moon during the four days at this period, injury to the corn and all the plants that are in blossom will be the necessary result.” Pliny the Elder Natural History Plin. Nat. 18.103
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