26 March 2019
On Easter Sunday, April 21st , tens of thousands of worshippers in St. Peter’s Square and millions across the world in front of their TVs will witness the celebration of Easter Mass, culminating in the traditional blessing to the city (Urbi) and the world (Orbi) given by Pope Francis. True to the tradition, Dutch flowers will bedeck the famous square. Strelitzia will occupy pride of place.
Dutch born floral designer Paul Deckers told FCI that for the design of his arrangements, the decision of colour schemes he works closely with the Vatican authorities. He added that the star of this year’s flower decorations is one of the best known tropical flowers Strelitzia or bird of paradise “Strelitzia originates from South Africa and is made of bright orange and blue petals, adding a regal touch to any floral display.”
Paul mentions the link between Strelitzia and the Christian faith. “The plant represents immortality and freedom. The fiery red orange is said to symbolise the Holy Spirit descending upon the apostles.”
Dutch grower Roland Duyvesteijn along with other Strelitzia growers will supply the flowers. The entire Dutch floriculture industry, including Royal FloraHolland, is involved in this special kind of floral marketing. “It is fantastic promotion for our product,” says Deckers. The Dutch floriculture industry has been providing the floral decorations for the Easter service at St. Peter’s Square in Rome for more than thirty years. Pope Francis will give the Easter blessing Urbi et Orbi amidst the beautiful flowers on Sunday 21 April 2019. The flowers and plants will travel to Rome from Keukenhof on Tuesday 16 April 2019.
Curious to know why Strelitzia makes such a perfect flower to use at St Peter’s Square? Here is the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=9M4p2gkv_gg