As May fast approaches, Filipinos eagerly anticipate the annual celebration of Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May). This festival has become part of Filipino traditions with pious devotees paying tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary as they gather in colorful processions to offer flowers and give thanks for the rain that makes the flowers bloom after a long dry season.
As part of the festivities in this month of flowers, radiant sagalas dressed in resplendent gowns walk along the streets while carrying beautiful flowers and symbolic items of the reinas they portray. They are escorted by gallant consorts with men holding each side of the decorated arches. The reinas represent a certain character in this tradition. You have probably lined up the street to watch the sagalas but are you familiar with the flowers and symbols of Flores de Mayo? Check out this information to help you identify some of them the next time you watch a sagala.
Symbols and Flowers Associated with Flores de Mayo
1. Reina Fe
She usually carries the cross during a procession. The cross is a sign of faith which is considered to be the most important trait of every Filipino.
2. Reina Verdad
She is the Queen of Truth among the Flores de Mayo symbols. Reina Verdad holds the Holy Bible which brings the good news to all people who follow God’s commandments.
3. Reina de los Angeles
In Flores de Mayo, people see her as the Queen of Angels. She is accompanied by two angels who claimed that Jesus’ birth is a symbol of peace to God’s people on earth.
- Poinsettia is a famous flower during the Christmas season which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The flower is connected to goodness, faith, and trust in people like the Flores de Mayo symbols.
4. Reina Esperanza
She carries the anchor which represents the virtue of hope. Aside from their faith, Filipinos are also known for being hopeful.
5. Reina Consolacion
She is the source of hope to those who are weak-spirited and hopeless. Together with the angels, they lead less privileged children to a brighter future.
- Iris is seen in the old paintings of Spanish painters who gave it a religious symbol. As one of the Flores de Mayo flowers, the iris symbolizes faith, hope, divine protection, light, value, and wisdom which are the Blessed Virgin Mary’s attributes. Reina Esperanza and Reina Consolacion both symbolize the iris.
6. Reina Caridad
People see her carrying a heart during the Flores de Mayo procession. The heart as we all know is a symbol of pure and eternal love.
- According to a Christian legend, the first carnation on earth bloomed when the Blessed Virgin Mary grieved over the sufferings of Jesus Christ while He was carrying the cross on the road to Calvary. It is also said that carnations symbolize the three nails that crucified Jesus. Thus, carnations are associated with pure love and marital faithfulness.
7. Reina Banderada
Among the Flores de Mayo symbols, she is easily identified as the maiden clothed in red and carries a triangular yellow flag. She symbolizes the growth of Christianity in the Philippines.
- White Rose is a symbol of Christianity since the 11th Century. It represents innocence, purity, and divine love among the Flores de Mayo flowers.
8. Reina De Las Flores
As the Queen of Flowers, she carries a bouquet that symbolizes femininity during the celebration of Flores de Mayo. Flowers are offered as a sign of honor to Mama Mary.
- Tulip is considered the best representation of femininity among all the flowers. It represents grace, beauty, and charm which are often attributed to women.
9. Reina Elena
She is the mother of Constantine the Great. Reina Elena traveled to Jerusalem to see the Cross. She carries a cross during the procession as proof that she found the Cross that saved humanity.
- Red Rose represents the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross. It is also the symbol of His resurrection. Rosary or Rosarium in Latin originated its name from the rose.
10. Reina Vida
She is an advocate of life. She carries the image of Niño Jesus during the Flores de Mayo procession. This symbolizes her protection for each creation that exists on earth.
- Ivy’s green color represents eternal life and fidelity. However, it is also associated with death and immortality.
11. Reina Esther
She came from a tribe of Jews. Reina Esther protected her territory from death and destruction by her interference with King Xerxes. In Flores de Mayo, she carries a scepter capped with the Star of David. She is the Jewish Queen of Persia who represents the cardinal virtue of prudence.
12. Reina De Las Estrellas
She is known to bring light to the minds of those who are distressed. She holds a staff that shines during the Flores de Mayo.
- Hyacinth represents prudence among the Flores de Mayo flowers. It is also a Christian symbol that aspires to heaven and to have a peaceful mind.
13. Reina Abogada
She protects the poor and oppressed. You can easily identify her as the one who is clothed in a black robe and holds a big book.
14. Reina Justicia
Among the Flores de Mayo symbols, she is the one who embodies the reflection of righteousness. This means the law is impartial to anyone. She carries the sword and scales during the Flores de Mayo procession.
- Lilies are prized ornamental plants. Lilies with three petals symbolize justice, hope, and charity.
15. Reina Sentenciada
In Flores de Mayo, she represents the people who are wrongly punished for crimes they did not commit. She is bounded together by two Roman soldiers.
- Among the Flores de Mayo flowers, teasel recalls the sufferings of Christ and the martyrs who symbolize sorrow and grief. Teasels have thorns up their stems.
16. Reina Paz
She is the Queen of Peace. Reina Paz holds a white dove to symbolize the Holy Spirit.
- Columbine means dove from the Latin word columba. It is likened to a dove and this is the reason why it has become a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
17. Reina Sheba
In the Bible, the Queen visited King Solomon to test his knowledge. She was overwhelmed by the King’s wisdom, wealth, and power. Reina Sheba carries a gold box during the Flores de Mayo.
- Narcissus is commonly known as the daffodil. Narcissus represents self-love, indifference, and selfishness.
ALSO READ: Your Guide to the Different Birth Month Flowers
There are many symbols and flowers associated with Flores de Mayo. The reinas as symbols are either inspired by women characters from the Bible or connected with certain religious beliefs. Aside from being in full bloom during May, flowers are being offered in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the festivities. These flowers add beauty and color to the lively celebration.
The wide selections of florals and good quality arrangements at the Flower Patch Shop can help you pick the right flowers this coming Flores de Mayo. Vibrant flowers such as roses, tulips, lilies, gerberas, lisianthus/paper roses, sunflowers, and carnations are available for all occasions and festivities. The floral designs can be innovative, contemporary, and classy. We have a quick flower delivery service for clients in key cities like Makati, Pasig, Ortigas, Alabang, Libis, and Quezon City. Send us a message.