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This is the third in a series of five Spanish English Parallel Texts with Spanish audio about Spanish city Córdoba in southern Spain.

Spain is a country that is famous for its festivals. Spanish people will find any excuse to celebrate and have a party. There are numerous regular festivities throughout the year and if you are planning a trip to Spain it is a good idea to suss out whether or not your trip coincides with one of these festivals. There is a good chance that it will, as there are so many! They are usually great fun (not always, for example “Semana Santa” – Easter, which is a somber affair) and a great way to meet the people and start to get a feel for Spanish culture and the culture of the specific region you find yourself. In this episode we will learn about “Las Cruces de mayo” festival which is held in May in Córdoba, other parts of Andalucía and throughout the Christian world.

Try your best to listen to my Spanish audio a few times first to see how much you understand and then after one of two listens you can check first the Spanish text and afterwards the English text. Don’t go straight for the easy option of listening and reading and especially try not to concentrate too heavily on the English translation.

Spanish English Parallel Texts: Córdoba Parte 3 Festivales

Cordoba (Parte 3)

In Spanish:

Las Cruces de mayo es un festival que se celebra en muchas partes del mundo y es muy importante en Andalucía, particularmente en Córdoba.

Según la leyenda, San Constantino soñó con una cruz que iba a ayudarlo a ganar una batalla perdida. Ordenó a sus tropas que construyeran una gran cruz, entonces la llevaron a la batalla y ganaron la guerra. Esto inspiró a su madre, Santa Elena, a ir en busca de la verdadera cruz en la que Jesús fue crucificado. Su principal problema no fue tanto la búsqueda de la cruz, sino averiguar cual de unas tres cruces era la auténtica. Esto a la larga se hizo evidente cuando una de ellas produjo milagros y se dice que Santa Elena entonces se convirtió en una defensora de la cruz, pidiendo a la gente que siguiera adorándola, incluso después de su muerte y esta veneración de la cruz es la verdadera razón detrás de los festivales de las cruces de mayo.

La fiesta de las Cruces de Mayo en Córdoba se ha convertido en un concurso en el que los que decoran las cruces compiten por premios. El primero comenzó en 1953 y ha sido una tradición desde entonces. La primavera es un tiempo maravilloso para visitar Córdoba ya que la ciudad está inundada de flores. Mayo arranca con un desfile denominado “Batalla de las Flores”, que consiste en una larga procesión de carrozas cubiertas de flores que zigzaguean a través de la ciudad. La Cruces de Mayo aparecen poco después, y la ciudad se vuelve aún más florida cuando la temporada del festival está en su plenitud. Las calles están llenas de carpas donde la gente come, bebe y se divierte, y además de las Sevillanas que se tocan durante el día, hay numerosas actuaciones en directo de música por la noche.

In English:

“Cruces de Mayo” (The May Crosses) is a festival that is celebrated in many parts of the world and is extremely important in Andalucía – particularly in Córdoba.

According to the legend, Saint Constantine dreamed of a cross that was supposed to help him win a losing battle. He ordered his troops to build a large cross; they then took it into battle and won the war. This inspired his mother, Saint Helen, to go in search of the real cross upon which Jesus was crucified. Her main problem was not so much in finding the cross, but in figuring out which one of three crosses was authentic. This eventually became clear when one of them produced miracles and Saint Helen is then said to have become a champion for the cross, urging people to continue to worship it even after her death and this veneration of the cross is the real reason behind the May Crosses Festivals.

“Cruces de Mayo” in Córdoba has also become a contest with those who decorate the crosses competing for prizes. This first began in 1953 and has been a tradition ever since. Springtime is a wonderful time to visit Córdoba as the city is awash with flowers. May kicks off with a parade called the “Battle of the Flowers” that involves a long procession of flower-covered floats the weave through the city. “Cruces de Mayo” follows soon after and the city gets even more flowery as festival season comes alive. The streets are lined with tents where the people eat, drink and make merry and in addition to the “Sevillanas” that are played during the day, there are numerous live musical performances at night.

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