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The Cruz's Altars

La Cruz's Altars or festivity of La Cruz de Mayo is a tradition of popular high content, it’s reflection in live of the idiosyncrasy of the nascent society in Cuba and of its Andalusian ancestors.

La Cruz's Altars were parties that took place in the oriental part of Cuba by the middle of the XIX (1858) century.

Holguin City was participant of these celebrations that they were carried out in the May month and they extended until the 31th of the own month.

In those days Holguin City lived moments of intense activity and rejoicing reason of family meetings, encounter of friendships, it was an authentic party of the homestead.

La Cruz's Altars were focused in an altar that was placed in the center of the great room of the housing. This it was adorned with candles, and beautiful flowers that were plentiful in the month of May and they reached its biggest splendor in the patios of the housings.

In the floor and put on a carpet, cups or trays, according to the changes that the different times imposed, they offered to the concurrence countless fruits, many of these autochthonous from Cuba, among those that were: bananas, oranges, pineapple, corojos, guavas, red mammees, mangos, plums, tiny pink apples, etc. The fragrance of the flowers and the fruits filled the room of a warm and special aroma.

It were placed, vases, porcelains, statuettes like decoration, what it called Altar was never adorned neither with Christian cross neither with any image or religious print, it was a social party without religious shade.

The dance began exactly at 8 o’clock in the night to invariably finish to the midnight, hour in that it’s turned off the few beacons of the public illumination.

Before midnight in the dining room it’s served pastries. To drink some that another sweet wine and at the end of century some that another beer.

A few minutes before finishing the dance, a chosen youth ahead of time made act of appearance carrying a pretty bow of which hung two ribbons of red color at least of half meter long and in a surprising way she fastened it to the lapel of one of the gentlemen, the one that surprised appreciated the expression to her and with this he had the obligation of organizing the next party, that which it implied to look for the house, to finance the music, the illumination and all the other current expenditures of the proximate dance.

It was absolutely forbidden to announce the new godfather without before get him mixed. Later on he in turn would choose sending of a luxurious fastener who would accompany her in the party and he would be the godmother of the next celebration.

With the appearance of the new century and the neocolony, the celebration of Cruz's Altars was losing peak until being forgotten in the shades of the colonial time in Cuba.

Cruz's Altars, last tradition in fashion, maybe forgotten, it resurges in one of the atria of San Isidoro Cathedral of in Holguin City in May 3 of 1997 and from then on, year after year, a good part of the community and numerous onlookers, motivated by the rupture of the monotony, comes closer to participate of this.

Cruz's Altars are a tradition rescued thanks to the happy initiative of the Group of Women of San Isidoro Cathedral of in Holguin City, celebration that encouraged the religiosity of this town during years and that although its origin was Christian, specifically Catholic, little by little it was deriving and melting with other cultural elements until transforming into a mixture of activity of faith and heal spreading.