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 May Crosses Festival, Granada

The Día de la Cruz (Day of the Cross) or Cruces de Mayo (Festival of the May crosses) is celebrated in Granada on May 3rd and is one of the most popular festivals in Andalusia.

On the 3rd of May and as every year, Granada has got dressed up in frills and flowers to celebrate May crosses. In courtyards and squares, the air is alive with tradition. But where does the May Crosses tradition come from?

All cultures have celebrated the arrival of spring with rituals of devotion to the gods of nature. Coinciding with these dates, in the Christian tradition in May the crosses festival is celebrated. In Spain it appeared on all of the calendars, being associated with the legend of discovery by Saint Helena of the true Cross of Christ.

In Granada, the tradition became deeply rooted, and lived on with great intensity from the moment the city was conquered by the Reyes Catolicos onwards. Following the intimate tradition of Arabic carmen houses, the crosses of May were originally celebrated in the courtyards of the homes. Altars were built there where the crosses raised and were adorned with flowers and with objects displayed beside them which conferred distinction and prestige.

Ceramic pieces, copper, manila shawls and everything which would suggest abundance was selected for exhibition on these occasions. Plants, fruit, grains and everything related with the typical vegetation of this time of year also had its place.

In the neighbourhoods, the less powerful classes organised collective crosses in squares and courtyards, where the neighbours lent their best possessions for adorning the altars.

Instituto Cervantes Diplomas de español DELE del Instituto Cervantes. SIELE.org TANDEM International EEA FEDELE Erasmus+ Camara Madrid Bildungsurlaub CSN
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