May Crosses Festival

Every year, in the spring, the May Crosses Festival, also known as the Holy Cross Day, is celebrated on May 3rd, especially in the municipalities of Breña Alta, Breña Baja, Santa Cruz de la Palma old town, and Villa de Mazo.

may crosses festival

May Crosses Festival: Dive into the tradition and local color of Santa Cruz de La Palma

This festivity commemorates the anniversary of the creation of Santa Cruz de La Palma by Alonso Fernández de Lugo in 1493, who concluded the conquest of the island. The Exaltation of the Holy Cross is closely associated with the island’s capital, merging the celebration of its origins with its incorporation into Western and Christian culture.

On May 3rd, the crosses located on the royal roads of the different neighborhoods in the eastern region are meticulously adorned. Residents work meticulously the night before, decorating the crosses with flowers, jewels, and colorful fabrics, aiming to make their cross, that of their neighborhood, the most dazzling.

Relive local scenes and tradition in the charming Exaltation of the Cross celebration on May 3rd.

Alongside the crosses, and even on balconies and rooftops, appear the “mayos“. They are handmade dolls placed in groups to represent a scene or a local episode related to traditional or current life. Particularly, the “mayos” are found in the San Telmo neighborhood: on Tres de Mayo street, and continuing on Morales Street. Also near La Plaza de Alameda, on Antonio López street, Jameos street, Jandia street.

mayos la palma cross day

The May Crosses Festival, as it’s also known, has a varied cultural and festive program. The afternoon of May 2nd features the Mascarones Parade, which lively travels the main streets until reaching the Plaza de España.

may crosses day la palma


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