May 3rd

Last May 3rd was hold a big celebration in every cosntruction site here in Mexico. It's the "Day of the Saint Cross" or "Día de la Santa Cruz". I didn't heard about this day until I began studying architecture, but it seems it's a big deal.

This day, in every construction site, people stop working at midday and the party begins. Traditional mexican food, lots of food, music, people working in the office with no direct contact to the site also go, as well as their partners, and there's a huge party going on. What else is needed but food, drink, music, and people? (All of this obviously paid by the company or architect or ingeneer in charge)

A big cross made with things from the construction site, "beautified" with paper and flowers and blessed by a priest is put in the highest point. And the party begins.

My sister's got to do a homework on some tradition about a culture she chose and she chosed this example, so I helped her looking for the origins of this celebration and I got so surprised. I'll tell you something about this.

In the III century, empress Elena, wife of Constantito Cloro, was obsessed with finding Jesus's cross. She asked his husband for the authorization of demolishing a Roman Empire god's temple on the top of "Mount Calvario", as she was sure to find it in there. When she got the authorization, and lots of workers, she destroyed the temple and found 3 crosses, one of Jesus, two of the thieves at his sides. To identify Jesus's cross, she layed a man that was dying over the three of them and Jesus's could make him well again. As the cross was found by construction workers, it is belived to be more "theirs", or they feel it as if it belonged to them.

In Mexico, on May 3rd, it was traditionally a party during a colony of certain groups of people. Right now, the most important group are the construction workers. It is even known as "Día del Albañil" (Construction worker day).

Long ago, in Mexico, Catholic Spanish were used to making a cross at the top of the houses or temples and beautify it with flowers on May 3 (Celebration by the Catholic church as the day of the Saint Cross).

Priests took this tradition to Mexico, and during the construction of their temples, they asked the construction workers to make a cross and put it at the top of the construction. This way, they began with this tradition, making it theirs.

In 1960, the Pope John XXII supressed this celebration from the calendar, nevertheless, the celebrations here in Mexico continued, so Mexican Church asked him to keep it in Mexico, even though it was supressed in the rest of the world. He said yes, so the celebration here in Mexico, officially continued, and every May 3rd, the construction workers celebrate their day. :)

I find it really interesting a beautiful to have so many parties, and such strong believes here in Mexico. I hope they never end. I, myself has just been once in a small celebration, not as huge as the ones I desribe and have heard about, but it was nice. Food, people, in the middle of the site, even pics of the complete team (which I don't have by the way...) I hope to be in another one some other day.

Here are the references I used for the info given. For any doubts, check the out (both in Spanish, though).

Lots of hugs and kisses!!!!