The Feast of Flowers
(Floralia): an arcane festival involving the Rite of Baptism, a purification often performed as part of or prelude to the Eleusinian Mysteries. In the ‘Limnae’ (temple lakes) the ‘Myste’ (participants) were guided towards and through the ‘slim gate’ of Dionysus, to emerge there as full Initiates. It is considered a relic inherited from the Sabines.
Flora, a licentious Goddess of springtime, was depicted as a beautiful maiden, wearing a crown of flowers.
Her festival, the Floralia, was celebrated particularly by the ‘ladies of the night’ across all levels of society.
This reverence is reflected in the exotic flowers incorporated into her highly theatrical rites, expressing quite explicitly the simulacra of human sexual organs. Female celebrants often paraded naked until authorities finally banned it during the 3rd century CE.
[i] Sacred texts
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