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May Holidays in Mexico– El Dia de La Santa Cruz y El Dia del Albañil–Day of the Holy Cross and Bricklayers’s Day

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A cross is placed atop any structure currently under construction on May 3.

Originally, May 3 was known as  The Day of the Discovery of the Holy Cross (El Dia de La Santa Cruz) but was removed from the Holy Catholic calendar in 1960 by Pope John XXIII. However, Mexicans will do what they wish and since the construction workers had long been celebrating this day as their special feast day, it remains and is now more commonly known as El Dia del albañil (Bricklayers’ day).

This Mexican tradition began with the Spanish churches built in the 1500s. On the Day of the Holy Cross, a cross, imagine that, was set at the top of the church and workers were given food and drink as a reward for a job well done. The workers burned copal (incense), and fireworks were set off to frighten away any evil spirits from the holy ground.

Construction workers now celebrate this day with an early morning mass then set out to their job sites to launch cohetes (rockets) and put a brightly decorated cross at the top of any partially finished project. Rompope, (a milk based liquor and brandy) is shared to lighten the heart of the workers in the morning. Work ends at 12 on this day, and then the tequila toasting begins along with la fiesta!  It goes without saying that little actual constructing work gets done today.

May is quite the month here in Mexico. Every time you turn around there is another celebration! For other Mexican May holidays see: El Día de Los TrabajadoresConmemoración del Escuadron de Pelea 201El Dia de La Santa Cruz y El Dia del AlbañilLa Batalla de Puebla, Natalicio de Miguel HidalgoEl Dia de la MadrenPascua de PentecostésEl Día del Maestro, and El Dia del Estudiante

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Are holidays in Mexico confusing?

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