The DAY OF THE CROSS in Granada, also known as the Holy Cross festival, is held on May the 3rd.
Origin of The Day of the Cross
The origin is found in 1625, when neighbours of San Lázaro set up an alabaster cross and sang and danced around it. Over the years, it became a tradition. Little by little similar crosses were placed in other old quarters. In some of them, such as ‘Albaicín’ and ‘Realejo’, it was the children who placed small altars with crosses, adding pottery and copper objects as decoration.
How it is celebrated
Although the crosses begin to be erected on the 1st, the festival does not start until the 3rd at 12:00. They are carnation crosses, placed on a handcrafted altar decorated with traditional ‘manila’ shawls, pottery and traditional Grenadian decoration.
The Day of the Cross is a festival in which people of all ages get involved. Schools, neighbours, associations, brotherhoods…, even the town hall make their own cross.
Since 1924 the City Council has run a competition to promote this tradition. Nowadays they can participate in four categories: courtyards, streets and squares, shop windows and schools. The most valuable Crosses are located in the Albaicín, ‘calle’ Zafra or Plaza Larga, as well as the one in the Corrala de Santiago, Realejo. Up to eighty-nine have participated this year. Besides, the famous mannequin Tarasca’, the main protagonist of the Corpus Christi in Granada, appears in one of the Crosses. (Her dress will set trends every year).
Flower scents, beautiful Andalusian horses in the streets, women and children wearing typical dresses, regional dances and ‘rociero’ (flamenco) choirs… all together offer a special atmosphere in this charming city, long-time capital of Moorish Andalusia, with the world-famous Alhambra at the top of the important reminders of this time.
However, the charm of Granada brings pleasure at any time of the year. So, you should not wait for this or any other festival to visit this city. The Albaicin will offer you a unique festival, the one of viewing the Alhambra while listening to flamenco played and danced by locals.
More info about Granada on this link: http://www.lovegranada.com/granada/things-to-do/