May Crosses

May Crosses

Every spring, on May 3, the traditional Festival of the Cross (Fiesta de la Cruz) is celebrated by several municipalities in La Palma. Palmeros decorate the crosses that are scattered along the old public footpaths of the eastern region, especially in the municipalities of Breña Alta, Breña Baja, Santa Cruz de la Palma and Villa de Mazo.

For months, the neighbours work carefully, decorating the crosses with flowers, coloured papers, seeds, fabrics, jewelry, etc. The objective is to make their neighborhood cross the most splendid of all. Their main ingredients are imagination, shared work and devotion. The devotees stay on guard throughout the night from May 2 to 3, on an improvised bench beside each cross.

Next to the cross, and sometimes even on balconies and rooftops, the Mayos or machangos appear. These are almost life sized rag dolls that represent different scenes, some related to traditional life and others to the modern world.

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