Art, feeling and tradition

May Crosses


This festival is known as “Las Cruces de Mayo” or “Las Cruces “. Some songs add, “Cruz de Mayo, la fiesta de las mujeres...” (May Cross, women’s festival) to highlight the important role women play in this festival. Although the main symbol is a cross, the church does not have a presence in this secular festival.

The May Crosses are placed in public spaces, such as streets, squares, large courtyards or premises that can be freely accessed. There are no restrictions to access. The people go from one cross to another singing and dancing in the streets. This makes the festival doubly unique as people celebrate around the cross and in the street on their way to one.

The Crosses are scattered throughout the different neighbourhoods of Lebrija. However, in recent years, the crosses have been concentrated in the town centre, near the “El Mantillo” Cross; a cross made by the residents of the eponymous square. The other crosses located in nearby streets belong to a variety of associations.

The Crosses are “dressed up”, that is, decorated for the event mainly by women. The cross is mounted on a pedestal. Although the cross may be made from iron, ceramics or other materials, it is most frequently made with brightly coloured paper flowers.

The pedestal is covered with a piece of fabric. The “metals” (mortar, oil lamps, mirrors, vases, pans, etc.) are placed on the pedestal. Quilts, shawls and mirrors hang on the wall. Flower pots with geraniums, spider plants and others are placed on both sides of the cross. The plants are always natural plants to symbolise spring.

Approximate date
May (the first two Fridays and Saturdays in May)


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