Holguin, Cuba Dressed for a Party in Squares & Parks

The pilgrimages of May 2023, dedicated this year to Mexico

Photo Feature by Idania Cardenas

HAVANA TIMES – Its origin is a Christian celebration during the colony in Holguín. The Spanish used to place a cross on the high points of the villas to ward off calamities.

The first cross was placed in 1790, and was raised by the friar Francisco Antonio Alegria, on May 3rd, the day of the cross. The inhabitants of the town began to make a pilgrimage to the site to ask for miracles and give offerings, a custom that still persists. It soon became a tradition that at the beginning of May they would leave in procession from the San Isidoro Church to celebrate a mass on the hill.

The Hermanos Saiz Association, a Cuban organization of young artists, took up the tradition and added new nuances to it. They resumed the tradition of climbing the Loma de la Cruz, where a gigantic replica of the Holguin ax is placed to protect the city during the days of the event. It started with a parade and lasted from May 2 to May 8.

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