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May’s crosses celebration: A celebration with history

26-04-2017

If there is a colorful party in Granada that is the May 3, Day of the Cross. Squares, courtyards and shop windows are adorned with a cross, usually red carnations according to Granada custom. Around it are placed pots, bedspreads, paintings, shawls and some symbolic objects.

These celebrations had their maximum splendor in Granada between the XVIII and XIX centuries. In Andalusia the first written references of the celebration of these celebrations go back to the XVII century, with the appearance of the brotherhoods around the symbol of the Cross. Although the party is much older and mixes Christian and pagan elements.

In its pagan aspect this celebration has to do with the beginning of spring. It is the exaltation of life, fertility and fertility not only of the earth, but also of the woman. The feast of the cross is the Christianization of a Roman feast in honor of the goddess Flora, where special worship was given to the trees.

In its religious symbolism and to eliminate, or at least to sacralize the pagan festivals, the Church replaced the tree by the Cross, symbol of the death and resurrection of Christ. Pope Gregory I set May 3 as the day of its celebration.

In Andalusia, and especially in Granada, the most popular classes celebrated parties in public squares, and residents gave away the best of their trousseau to adorn the crosses. There he drank and sang until late at night around the Cross. The wealthy people celebrated the feast in the courtyards, where they placed the best of the house making ostentation of its wealth. The children made their own cross, which was walking around the neighborhood, to get some coins to spend on sweets.

What is never missing in any Granada cross are open scissors stuck in a but or apple. With them is symbolized the cut with any criticism to the cross, the crosses are not put any "but ...".
Also a copper vessel is placed where a "chavico" is requested for the Santa Cruz. This money is donated to a charity.
Without a doubt, the Feast of the May Crosses are unique holidays whose origin is immersed in the beginning of time.

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