The “Día de la Cruz” is a popular tradition of Granada and its province. On the 3rd of May, balconies, patios, streets, squares and houses are decorated with flowered crosses and traditional utensils. Around the cross the people meet to eat, drink and dance.
May 3rd (source)
A tradition that is renewed every May 3rd
The Day of the Cross blends elements of Spanish and indigenous cultures
A cross made of jiote is decorated with paper chains, flowers, ribbons, and other decorations, while surrounded with seasonal fruits like mangos, bananas, and jocotes.
It's May. This scene can only mean that day of the Cross has arrived, a religious tradition in El Salvador celebrated today (May 3) and serves to announce the arrival of the rainy season and with this the “birth of the fruits”; is also an expression of religiosity.
The celebration blends a number of both indigenous and Christian elements. On the one hand, our ancestors dedicated this day to fertility, Mother Earth, and the god Xipe Totec, deity of death and rebirth of what exists in nature.
The purpose of this worship was to start planting and, with the rainy season coming, to get the blessing of crops. With the arrival of the Spanish, the custom was Christianized.
But the origin of the celebration of May 3rd dates back to the second century AD, when it is said, St. Helena seeks and finds the cross of Jesus. She decided to split the wood and send one part to Rome, another to Jerusalem and the last to Constantinople.
In the year 700 the Persians robbed the piece of the cross that belonged to Jerusalem, but it was returned on May 3, 1816 by the Byzantine emperor Constantine, and was known as the Day of the Cross.
Panchimalco Jucuapa, San Juan Nonualco, Cacaopera, Puerto El Triunfo San Agustín and Santa Cruz Analquito are some places in El Salvador where this tradition is displayed in a special way.
Everyone knows that you make the crosses from the Jiote tree, which is the renovation of nature and humanity after the coming of Christ and his resurrection. This tree is so generous that cutting one branch leads to new buds and shoots.
Also, the fruits that accompany it symbolize the appreciation of food from the earth that enable and ensure its existence so that people survive.