Fiesta de las Cruces Date in the current year: May 3, 2017

Fiesta de las Cruces The Fiesta de las Cruces (Festival of the Crosses), also known as Invención de la Santa Cruz (Invention of the Holy Cross) or Cruz de Mayo (May Cross) is a holiday celebrated on May 3 in numerous places in Spain and Hispanic America. Although quite popular, it is not an official government or church holiday.

The roots of the holiday go back to the finding of the cross used in the crucifixion of Jesus (the True Cross) by Saint Helena, the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine. In the Gallican Rite, the Feast of the Cross commemorating this event was celebrated on May 3. Today, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Cross on September 14. However, the May date is still observed as the Invention of the True Cross in many parts of Spain and Spanish America.

On May 3, groups of people throughout Spain and Hispanic America get together and decorate crosses in the streets and squares with flowers and various items which typically reflect the traditions of a particular town or locality. Many cities and towns hosts vibrant processions with crosses organized by local religious brotherhoods.

In Spanish America, the traditions of the Fiesta de las Cruces may vary considerably between countries. For example, in Ecuador the holiday takes on a more raucous aspect, while in most of Guatemala the Invention of the Holy Cross is celebrated largely in a respectful and symbolic manner.

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Category

Folk Festivals

Country

Spain, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador

Tags

Fiesta de las Cruces, Cruz de Mayo, Invention of the Holy Cross, holidays in Spain, holidays in Hispanic America