On this day, one of the most popular festivals in Andalusia takes place in Granada. The whole city, its streets, its squares are filled with altars in honor of the Holy Cross.
This festival has Christian and pagan origins, and this year we will celebrate it after two years of pandemic.
History of the Day of the Cross
It seems that everything began in the seventeenth century, when in 1625 an alabaster cross was made in the neighborhood of San Lázaro and all the neighbors in the area celebrated singing and dancing next to it. Then, the tradition continued in the typical neighborhoods of Granada: the Albaicín, the Realejo. The children also began to build small altars decorated with ceramics and copper objects.
Throughout history, the celebration of the Cross has undergone different stages, with its near disappearance after the prohibition of asking for money for crosses in 1833. Because the tradition remained in the private sphere for many years, began to resurface from 1924 with the convocation for the first time of a contest of altars by the City Council and was definitively reinstated in the calendar of the city as a big day from 1964.
Las Cruces today
Today, many of these traditions are preserved, such as that of placing a Gold apple, which in Granada is called “pero”, with scissors nailed, to warn against putting “buts” to the Cross, that is, that should not be made critical of the decoration of the Cross.
A few years ago, the festivity went into decline, when this celebration became just an excuse to celebrate exaggeratedly . For this reason, the City Council banned 6 years ago the installation of bars and music at all crossings. In spite of everything, the people of Granada do not give up their party and continue to look for formulas to live this special day.
In this celebration it is very common to find children and adults dressed in flamenco costumes. There is also a real competition to choose the most beautiful cross and these are framed in four modalities:
– Streets and squares
– Shop windows
The final prize is awarded on May 3 in a ceremony in which the official proclamation is read.
So if you are interested in living this celebration of Granada, go down to the street and admire the crosses, surely in some point of the city you will find bars for a drink.
From Instituto Mediterráneo Sol we wish you good day de las Cruces! And we invite you to join the guided tour that we will do this afternoon in the center.