May Crosses Festival of Cordoba

Festive events throughout the month of May

It is difficult to find such a full identification between a city and an extensive period of the year. This is the case of the historic Córdoba (World Heritage City) and the month of May. The people from Cordoba concentrate all the joy and hospitality that characterize the Andalusian character in the fifth month of the year.

During these days, its inhabitants wear the festive costume to celebrate so funny events. Therefore, the month of May praises, even more so, the beauty of Cordoba. The Crosses of May, the Patios Contest, the Montilla-Moriles Wine Tasting and the Nuestra Señora de la Salud Fair, in this order, overflow the feelings of the people from Córdoba.

First events begins the first week of the month with the Crosses of May or Battle of the Flowers. The floats that go out in procession are decorated with flowers, Manila shaws and multicoloured quilts. It became a contest in 1953. 

The flowers are wandering around the city. Cruces de San Basilio, San Andrés and San Agustín are the most popular.

Origin of the Crosses of May and Patios Festival

The celebration of the Crosses of May is of a religious nature. Furthermore, Catholic brotherhoods and neighbourhood associations that decorate the crosses open bars in the streets where tapas and drinks are sold. On live concerts liven up the nights while the decorated carriages can be contemplated.

The Patios Contest takes place in the middle of May. It is sponsored by the City Council, and its roots date back to 1918. The event is closely related to the local architecture and indoor courtyards that most of the buildings have.

Old courtyard decorated for the festival

Since Roman times, the typical houses of Cordoba were designed around a courtyard in order to mitigate the dry and hot climate. Later, the Muslims added a porch decorated with abundant vegetation that cooled the interior. It allowed the entry from the street through the courtyard, that had a fountain or a well to collect rainwater. 

Although the patios are taken care throughout the year, the owners decorate them with flowers for the competition. They dispute the award to the ‘Most beautiful courtyard’ given by the City Council. At the same time, there is a great variety of performances that welcome the greatest singers and dancers.

During the days the contest takes place, you can visit both public and private patios. We recommend you the Viana’s Palace, a 14th century building known as the ‘Museum of the Courtyards’. It has twelve courtyards to visit, as well as those of the ‘Círuclo de la Amistad’ and the Faculty of Law. There are also patios in religious buildings such as the convents of the Encarnación, Santa Isabel de los Ángeles, Capuchinas, Santa Cruz, Jesús crucificado and the Corpus Christi.

The Online Festival of 2020

Courtyards are not open all day, so you should inform yourselves beforehand of opening hours. They are usually opened most of the morning, afternoon, as well as evening. However, this year 2020 due to the coronavirus, you can visit them online! You can do the virtual panoramic visit organized by Emcotur; or you can also see the videos of almost all the patios that participate on the Youtube channel of TVM Córdoba.

About the author