The Festival of the May Crosses (Cruces de Mayo) is celebrated throughout Andalucia though it is in Cordoba and Granada where the most impressive displays are on show. If you have to choose one then go to Cordoba. The festival consists of the construction of large crosses made of beautiful flowers in many of the city’s main squares.
In the true spirit of Spanish fiestas a temporary bar is built in the same square as the cross. This is where the locals congregate each evening for a good few drinks and tapas which inevitably leads to spontaneous flamenco style dancing into the early hours.
The celebration takes place during the first few days of May with the first weekend tending to be the busiest when visitors from all over Spain arrive to join in the party. The actual crosses which are around three metres high are made by the people of the neighbourhood and the local town council runs a competition to find the best cross (Concurso de los Cruces de Mayo). In Cordoba alone there are some eighty crosses to choose from.
In Cordoba some of the best neighbourhoods to head for are San Basilio, Santa Marina and San Augustin whilst in Granada it’s the Albaicín and the ‘barrio’ of El Realejo where the best crosses and most merriment is to be found.
The temporary bars generate a good income during these few days which is used by local brotherhoods (cofradías) and community groups to finance various local festivals including Holy Week (Semana Santa) and the Cordoba Fair (Feria de Cordoba). Being such a good cause we obviously try to help them as best we can!