Las Cruces de Mayo is one of the most popular festivities in Spain, and Estepona is no exception. El Jardin de la Costa del Sol will hold its edition of the popular May Crosses contest in Casco Historico from March 18 to April 12, and we can’t wait to find out who the winners will be.

Here’s where it comes from and what it celebrates. Subsequently, we invite you to participate in the contest organized by the Estepona Town Hall.


Las Cruces de Mayo is a traditional festivity celebrated in Spain and in some Latin American countries (especially in Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela) on the Sunday closest to May 3. Depending on how that date falls, it is celebrated in front, in the last week of April, or at the back, at the beginning of May. This celebration is held in honor of the cross of Christ and its main characteristic is the elaboration of altars with flowers and decorations.

The festivity of the Crosses of May is very popular in Andalusia, where contests are organized to choose the best decorated crosses. Cordoba, Granada, Seville, Jaen… and of course, in Estepona.

This article explores the history, traditions and activities of the May Cross Festival in Estepona, and why it is such a beloved event for locals and tourists alike.

History of the Festival de las Cruces de Mayo:

The Festival of the Crosses of May has its origins in pagan traditions that celebrate the arrival of spring and the renewal of nature. Over time, it became Christianized and merged with the Feast of the Holy Cross on May 3.

In Estepona, the festival has been celebrated since the 18th century, when the inhabitants began to decorate crosses with flowers and hold processions in honor of the Holy Cross. Since then, it has evolved to include music, dancing and even a contest to choose the prettiest.

Las Cruces:

The centerpiece of the May Cross Festival in Estepona are the colorful and ornate crosses that are placed in public squares and courtyards in the center of town. Each cross is decorated with flowers, ribbons and other ornaments, and represents the creativity and artistic talent of local residents.

Crosses are typically made by brotherhoods, groups of neighbors or friends, who compete to see who can create the most beautiful and original cross. Visitors to Estepona during the festival can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the historic center of town and admire the various crosses on display.

Food and Drink:

No festival in Spain would be complete without food and drink, and the Festival de las Cruces de Mayo is no exception. During the festival, the brotherhoods and groups that have participated set up food and drink stands. There is even a stage with performances from the youngest to the most experienced singers and dancers.


Since 2014, the May Crosses contest has also been held in Estepona. Although if you ask the older people in the area, some of them say that these contests existed long before. Let’s see what it consists of.

Open the deadline for the contest of the best May Crosses Estepona 2024

The Estepona City Council invites you to participate in the traditional May Crosses contest, where the beauty and tradition of these festive altars will be awarded.

Registration open until April 12

Registration will be available from March 18 through April 12. Those interested can consult the rules on the Notice Board of the Electronic Headquarters of the City Council and send the required form along with a photocopy of the ID card to the mail [email protected].

Awards and categories

In this edition, there is only one category for the best cross in streets or squares. The first three winners will receive prizes of 1,000, 500 and 300 euros respectively, plus four runners-up prizes of 200 euros each.

Jury’s appraisal

The jury will evaluate the beauty of the cross, the ornamentation of the place, the appropriateness to the tradition and the artisan details used in the whole. The jury’s visit will take place on Wednesday, May 1, starting at 12:00 noon, without prior notice.

Regulations and location

The crosses will be placed in order of arrival of applications, in spaces designated by the delegation of Festivals. There may not be more than one cross in the same square or street, nor at a distance of less than 200 meters between them.

Tips for participants:

If you are interested in participating in the Cruces de Mayo Estepona 2023 contest, there are many things you will have to take into consideration: what elements are essential to elaborate a May cross that will attract the attention of the jury and visitors? What aspects should we take into account to make our cross the most beautiful?

Here are some tips that can be very useful to increase your chances of winning a prize:

  • Use your creativity and skill in making the cross to impress the jury. Be original, it scores.
  • Pay attention to details: this is one of the criteria that the jury will take into account. It takes care from the ornamentation of the place to the craftsmanship used in the cross.
  • Keep with tradition: make sure your cross is in keeping with the traditions of the Cruces de Mayo.
  • Flowers are the star element in the decoration of the May crosses. But not just any type of flower will do, we must choose those that adapt to the tradition. The most commonly used flowers are roses, carnations, daisies, geraniums and lilies.
  • Have everything ready for the day of the evaluation: remember that the jury will visit the crosses on the day of the celebration, but they will not notify anyone. So make sure you have everything ready for that moment.

Good luck!