From the moment I set foot in Córdoba all I´ve heard about, from both natives and expats alike, is the Month of May. May is the month when Córdoba comes to life with festivals, dance and culture. It is the month where the locals come out of their winter-long hibernation and in their droves take to the streets of Córdoba in celebration. It has to be said that between La Cata (the wine-tasting festival), Las Cruces( the crosses), Los Patios( the courtyards) and La Fería (the fair) Córdoba certainly has something to offer everyone.
Now that May is finally upon us, I have to admit, I´m like a child at christmas – unaware of what to expect and completely unable to contain my excitement! On Friday evening, once another week of work came to an end (can´t believe how quickly the weeks are flying by!), I embraced this excitement and took to the streets of Córdoba in search of Las Cruces and the vivacious atmosphere which comes with them!
Las Cruces, or Crosses, is a popular competition of crosses in which, every year, each barrio dedicates time and money in order to create these beautifully artistic floral crosses. Each cross is a representation of the pride and spirit in the barrio and are typically surrounded by potted plants and flowers in colours that complement the unique attributes of each zone. The crosses bring the community out in force in order to honour the work that has gone into making these elaborate and colourful crosses while also delighting in the possibility that their cross could earn them the much sought after title of Best Cross! As well as this sacred title, there are several monetary prizes up for grabs in this competition, these prizes range from €665 to €1165, making this competition a very profitable one for each winning community!
Now, you may be wondering – especially in these financially tought times – how each community can afford to enter this competition year after year – with the cost of the crosses and the uncertainty of winning a monetary prize – well it´s simple really! Located beside each cross is a marquee which offers food and drink typical to this region in order to raise money for the following year. What better way to raise money than through the consumption of food and alcohol?!
However, while they´re really just a fund-raising tactic, these marquees are key to the success of this festival. These marquees, which, in reality, are a fusion of everything typically Andalusian – tapas, fino, traditional music and dance, are the best place to go to soak up the atmosphere of the barrio. Like La Cata (the wine-tasting festival), the locals, once they´ve had their fill of food and drink, dance the night away – Sevillanas style – to the traditional beats of the region! With each bars combination of traditional food, drink, music, religion and dance, you would be hard pressed to find a more authentic experience. It´s such a fun-filled, high-spirited event, which couldn´t even be dampened by the unfortunate torrential rain we have been experiencing since Friday. ( Typical, the one time there is an outdoor event you want to go to in Spain, it rains!!)
While I really enjoyed Las Cruces, due to the rain, I didn´t get to see all of them. This, to me, is a shame. However, being optimistic as I am, I´m hoping that the weather will pick up before Tuesday which will bless me with the opportunity to visit the ones that, up to this point, I have missed out on! In saying that, despite the weather, Las Cruces is definitely a festival I would recommend going to; with its unique merging of religion, food, drink and dance, this festival is unparalleled to any other I have witnessed! And who knows, next year the weather might be better!
Hope you enjoyed reading about Las Cruces, and if I am lucky enough to see them in the sun, I shall post a photo blog to share the beauty with you!
(Las Cruces in the sunshine: click here, you shall not be disappointed!)
Would you be interested in going to Las Cruces?