The Crosses Festival, or Cruces de Mayo, is one of the most emblematic festivals of Cordoba, Andalusia. Every year, during the first days of May, crosses adorned with flowers and ornaments are put up in neighbourhood squares and patios.
The tradition has its roots in the religious celebration of the Exaltation of the Cross, but it has evolved into a popular festival that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world.
In this blog post, we will explore the history, meaning and characteristics of Cordoba’s Cruces de Mayo.
Origin of the festival of the Cruces de Mayo
The Cruces de Mayo has its origins in the Middle Ages when the Catholic Church instituted the festival of the Exaltation of the Cross to commemorate the victory of Emperor Constantine over his enemies thanks to the symbol of the cross.
In Spain, the festival was celebrated in September and was marked by religious processions and the display of crosses in temples. Over time, the tradition became secularized and adapted to local customs.
In Córdoba, the tradition of the Cruces de Mayo has its origins in the 17th century, when the city was experiencing a moment of economic and cultural splendour thanks to its role as the commercial and political centre of Andalusia.
In those times, the Cordovan nobility and bourgeoisie competed to display their wealth and power in the festivals and celebrations that they organized in their palaces and stately homes. One of these celebrations was the so-called “Crosses Festival”, in which crosses with flowers and candles were decorated in the streets and squares of the historic centre.
Over time, this custom spread to the popular neighbourhoods of the city, where crosses were built in neighbourhood patios and squares with the participation of the entire community. The tradition of the Cruces de Mayo has been kept alive throughout the centuries, although with ups and downs due to the political and religious tensions that Spain experienced in the 20th century.
In the 1970s, the Cruces de Mayo regained its splendour thanks to the involvement of the city’s neighbourhood and cultural groups.
Today, the Cruces de Mayo in Córdoba is a popular festival that brings together thousands of people in the streets and squares of the city. During the days leading up to May 1, the residents of the different neighbourhoods strive to prepare the crosses and decorate them with flowers, pots, lights, and other ornaments. Each cross has its own unique style, reflecting the personality and creativity of those who have built it.
When is the Cruces de Mayo festival held?
This year 2023 the festivity begins on April 27 and ends on May 1. Due to its location, the best place to stay is Vitium Córdoba since we are close to many of them (300 meters from the winner of the first prize in 2022!).
The Cruces de Mayo are open to the public and contests are organized to choose the most beautiful and original cross in the city. In addition, music and dance performances are organized, and tapas and drinks typical of Cordoba gastronomy are offered. The streets are filled with people of all ages to enjoy this festivity throughout the city.
All in all, the Cruces de Mayo of Córdoba are a unique and spectacular celebration that attracts visitors from all over the world. Andalusian tradition and culture merge in this festivity, which is a perfect opportunity to experience the rich history and heritage of the region.
Where to stay during this festival?
For those looking for accommodation during the Cruces de Mayo, Vitium Córdoba Hotel is an excellent option. With a central location, modern facilities and exceptional service, this hotel offers a high-quality lodging experience in the city.
In short, if you want to enjoy Córdoba’s Cruces de Mayo to the fullest and experience unparalleled hospitality, look no further than Hotel Vitium Córdoba.
Book your stay today and get ready for an unforgettable experience!
See below 2023 Cruces de Mayo map