There is a custom in certain traditionally Catholic countries of southern Europe and Latin America of constructing huge flower mats on streets for the Corpus Christi procession to pass over.

Flower mat Galicia

Flower mat Galicia

A friend of mine who lives in Spain sent me some pictures of how these were being assembled in his town. There were giant white outlines drawn on the streets, and volunteers worked for hours filling them with the proper color flower petals to make the eye-catching designs come to life.

Flower mat Brazil

Flower mat Brazil

Seeing that they were armed simply with boxes of colored petals, I asked, in amazement, do they not affix them to the ground in any way? Couldn’t a strong wind or sudden rainstorm simply scatter them? Here is his answer:

Yes. But we’re in premodern territory with these customs, after all, when people took being at the mercy of the elements for granted! (And all this will be completely scattered as the large procession goes over them this evening.) 
The idea of festival excess is indeed taken to a fabulous degree in the assembling of these floral designs that pass away after only a day. But people love this. And they do it with pride, every year.
Speaking of wind, the surprise intervention of natural elements may in fact add to the wonder of the occasion.
Flower blossoms stirred up by the wind (Spain)

Flower blossoms stirred up by the wind (Spain)

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