Many different cultures believe flower goddesses represent nature and flowers, the deities often embody forces of nature and have similar characteristics to mother nature. Flora was the ancient Roman goddess of flower, fertility and spring, she protected the early blossom. Her name comes from the latin word ‘floris’ meaning flower. An annual festival was held in Ancient Rome in her honour, the Floralia festival took place from 28th April to 3rd May.
During the lively six-day celebration, the Romans would decorate their houses and temples with flowers, they wore colourful clothing to reflect the beautiful shades of the flowers and it was a time for drinking and feasting. Floralia began with theatrical performances and mimes, while games, known as Florales Ludi in the Circus Maximus would close the merry festival, animals were set free and beans were scattered to ensure fertility.
The greek goddess of flower was Chloris, a nymph that the ancient greeks believed lived in the Elysian Fields, the area of the Underworld where worthy souls lived. Chloris was the wife of the god of the west wind, Zephyrus and it was believed she transformed many mythological figures into flowers.
In Chinese culture, there are twelve flower gods and goddesses, one of each month of the year. One of our favourite legends is Yang Yuhuan, also known as Yang Guifei, she was the highest-ranking imperial concubine at her time and was one of the Four Beauties in ancient China. During the Anshi Rebellion, she was forced to hang herself. According to the legend after the rebellion, the emperor wanted to find Yang’s body and rebury her with honour. However, her body could not be found, the search party only discovered apricot blossoms. It was believed that she had gone to heaven and from then on she became the Goddess of Apricot Blossom.
Konohananosakuya-hime (Sakuya-hime for short) is the mythological Japanese blossom-princess, she represents the delicate life on earth, and her symbol is the sakura blossom. The daughter of the mountain god Ohyamastsumi, she is also the goddess of mount Fuji and all volcanoes. Sakuya-hime is the wife of the god Ninigi, the pair met on the seashore and instantly fell in love; Ninigi asked Sakuya-hime’s father for her hand in marriage. However, instead Ohyamastsumi proposed his older daughter, Iwa-Naga-hime but Ninigi had his heart set on Sakuya-hime, her father reluctantly agreed and the two lovers were married. According to Japanese mythology because Ninigi refused Iwa-Naga-hime, the rock-princess, human lives are said to be short and fleeting, like the sakura blossom, instead of enduring and long lasting, like stones.
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Aurora’s Call Flower Bouquet
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