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May Crosses in Granada 2024: Discover this Traditional Celebration

Since the 17th century, Granada has celebrated the May Crosses, an event that adorns the city with elaborately decorated crosses every May 3rd. This tradition, which initially had a religious origin, has evolved to include festivities such as traditional dances and the peculiar ornamentation of crosses that can be seen in streets, squares, and courtyards. The city celebrates this day with fervor that combines the sacred and the profane, also marking the day when, according to ecclesiastical tradition, the cross on which Christ was crucified was found.

May 3rd, and the days leading up to it, are an opportunity to see how the main areas of Granada, especially the neighborhoods of Albaicín and Realejo, are filled with crosses decorated with typical Granada ceramics, plants from local courtyards, and other traditional elements. A curious detail is the placement of an apple with scissors stuck at the base of many crosses, symbolizing a humorous challenge to anyone who wants to criticize the work done: “Don’t give me any buts.”

In addition to being a visual spectacle, the May Crosses are a rich cultural experience in music and dance. Although the traditional coplas de La Reja have lost some ground to sevillanas, they are still alive along with the presence of horsemen and people dressed in flamenco attire. The festivity, although it is a working day when it falls on a weekday like this year, is still experienced with intensity and devotion, especially in places like the Corrala de Santiago, where the crosses attract long lines of admirers.

Competition of May Crosses in Granada

The Day of the Cross in Granada is lived with great enthusiasm, filling the streets with vibrant colors and joy. It is common to see both children and adults dressed in flamenco costumes, while horsemen roam the streets to enjoy the beautiful crosses, which are usually adorned with an abundance of carnations.

Various groups such as neighborhood associations, brotherhoods, educational centers, and even city councils dedicate themselves to decorating their crosses. Each one seeks to dazzle not only the local residents but also attract a large number of visitors with their unique designs.

Furthermore, these creations compete to obtain the awards annually presented by the Granada City Council. This competition is organized with the aim of preserving and promoting this beautiful Granadian tradition, and the prizes offered are quite attractive. In the competition organized by the municipality, numerous crosses participate, which are categorized into four different groups for the competition: crosses located in streets and squares, in courtyards, in shop windows, and school crosses.

Particularly, the crosses located in the Albaicín neighborhood are exceptionally popular and beautiful, with some, such as the one at Casa de los Pisa near Carrera del Darro, having been awarded first prize on multiple occasions.

On the other hand, on Cobertizo de Santo Domingo street, next to the Church of Santo Domingo, the Hermandad de la Virgen del Rosario was awarded the third prize last year in the patio category.

For the May cross competition in Granada in 2024, the participation of 48 crosses is expected: 9 in streets and squares, 25 in courtyards, 9 in shop windows, and 14 school crosses. This festivity not only celebrates creativity and community spirit but also serves as a showcase for Granada’s rich culture and tradition.

Gastronomy during the May Crosses in Granada

After enjoying the splendor of the crosses, nothing better than exploring Granada’s gastronomic offer. Plaza Nueva, for example, becomes a meeting point where, in addition to admiring the crosses, you can taste the famous Granada tapas, which are served free with each drink in many bars and restaurants. Don’t miss out on local specialties such as the Alpujarra dish in the area’s restaurants, or delight in the fresh flavor of “pescaíto” fried fish, a Mediterranean classic.

To top off your gastronomic visit, piononos, typical pastries of the region, offer a sweet ending to your day of cultural and culinary exploration in the May Crosses.

Tips to Make the Most of the May Crosses

For those planning to visit the May Crosses, here are some tips:

  • Arrive early to avoid crowds and calmly enjoy the decorations.
  • Interact with locals to receive recommendations about the best crosses and gastronomic points.
  • Explore on foot. Granada is ideal for being discovered by walking, allowing you to discover unique details that will enrich your experience.
  • Go on a tapas tour to experience the city’s culinary variety, immersing yourself in Granada’s rich gastronomic tradition.

So, now you know, if you want to live a unique experience full of tradition, culture, and good food, the May Crosses in Granada are an unmissable event.

Book your Stay at Seda Club Hotel for the May Crosses

To experience the tradition of the May Crosses in all its magnitude and comfort, we invite you to book your stay at Seda Club Hotel. Our luxury boutique hotel, located in the heart of Granada, is the perfect place to fully immerse yourself in this emblematic festivity. Enjoy privileged access to all activities, as well as the comfort and excellent service that only Seda Club can offer.

If you are looking for a truly unique and relaxing experience during your stay, we recommend the rooms overlooking the inner courtyard of Seda Club Hotel. Characterized by their direct access to a charming central inner courtyard with a private terrace, these rooms are the perfect retreat to enjoy starry nights and the melodious singing of birds in the heart of Granada.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this unique celebration, book now and ensure an unforgettable experience!

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On 25 and 31 December only the Christmas Dream and New Year’s Eve Gala menus will be available and there will be no à la carte service.