[i]In the Roman Empire, Rosalia or Rosaria was a festival of roses celebrated on various dates, primarily in May, but scattered through mid-July. The observance is sometimes called a rosatio (“rose-adornment”) or the dies rosationis, “day of rose-adornment,” and could be celebrated also with violets (violatio, an adorning with violets, also dies violae or dies violationis, “day of the violet[-adornment]”). As a commemoration of the dead, the rosatio developed from the custom of placing flowers at burial sites. It was among the extensive private religious practices by means of which the Romans cared for their dead, reflecting the value placed on tradition (mos maiorum, “the way of the ancestors”), family lineage, and memorials ranging from simple inscriptions to grand public works. Several dates on the Roman calendar were set aside as public holidays or memorial days devoted to the dead.[/i]

I bought these flowers at reduced price in Tesco yesterday, thinking at the time that they almost certainly remained unsold because of the old superstition regarding red and white “funeral” flowers in the house. I just wanted to take photographs… I must have been in tune with the times