Home > May 3rd is Day of the Cross

May 3rd is Day of the Cross

May 3rd, 2008 at 10:28 pm

As is the case with many Catholic rites in Latin America, this originally was an indian rite adopted/adapted by the Catholic Church: at the beginning of the rainy season, to ask the gods for a bountiful harvest, the pipiles used to make offerings of fruit. Now those offerings are made on May 3rd (Day of the Cross in the Catholic calendar) and placed at the feet of a cross. People put up these little crosses in their yards, with garlands and fruit. We put ours in the living room (to guard the fruit against Tonio and Fiona)

The cross in El Salvador is made of a special wood called "palo de jiote" (don't ask! I don't know!)... the peculiarity is that the bark peels off and leaves behind a very smooth surface. It is believed that the indians saw in this wood a representation of the Xipe Totec - an important Mayan god who wore the skin of the dead

There's some information here:

The top of the page is in Spanish, but if you scroll down, you'll find the info in English.

6 Responses to “May 3rd is Day of the Cross”

  1. NJDebbie Says:

    Thank you for this cultural tidbit. I enjoyed it! Do you celebrate the May Crowning (Crowning the Virgin Mary)?

  2. miclason Says:

    Yes. On May 13th

  3. Petunia Says:

    Thank you for sharing this!

  4. Amber Says:

    I have never heard of this, interesting...thanks for sharing

  5. miclason Says:

    And, just think: It DID rain last night!!!!

  6. SicilyYoder Says:

    So the offerings are placed at the foot of the cross, to ask for a harvest from God and Jesus? We pray each year, as mom shares our boutiful garden with the less fortunate. It always works- we have more than enough- God and Jesus are sooo good.

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