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Cruces de Mayo

Cruces de Mayo, May Crosses, is really an Andalusian custom. Murcia, the community, not Murcia City which all we Cartageneros learn to snigger about, shares a border with Andalusia. There are other strong links between Cartagena and Andalusia through the port. On top of that there is a lot of Andalusian blood flowing through Cartagenero veins for the Andaluzes who came to work in the mines out at La Unión.

For this, the first weekend in May, Andalusia is everywhere in Cartagena. Local groups tied in with the church, generally through the Easter parades, put up flower crosses as part of a tableau of Andaluz life. Alongside are the temporary bars selling local and Andalusian food. This year there are also lots of bars that have their own crosses possibly better reflecting the priorities of most people out on the streets. Food and drink first, religion after. It's as easy to get a glass of chilled fino or manzanilla as it is to get a beer. Women wearing the flouncy skirts and men the flat, broad brimmed, hats are a common sight. Horse drawn carriages ply the town looking for trade. Flamenco and Sevillanas booms out from speakers all around the town.

The weather has been unkind though. After a nice sunny start to Friday it began to cloud over and a stiff breeze picked up. Today we have had heavy drizzle on and off and the sky is a very tedious shade of grey. If we are working on traditional and stereotypical images of Andalusia it would have been nice to have the sun that goes with it. Bad for the photos too. No contrast.


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