In accordance with the Catholic church, Santa Cruz is celebrated on May 3. This year the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto held celebrations in honor of Santa Cruz, or Noj Kaaj Santa Cruz X Balam Naj Kampokolché (Great Village of the Small Holy Cross, Home of the Tiger*). The celebration is performed under the Maya Catholic liturgy, undertaken by Maya priests. At the end of the prayers, they give food to all of the attendees, usually chilmole or relleno negro accompanied by handmade tortillas. They also drink balché, a Maya ritual drink, atole and a cold chocolate beverage in water, which in this heat is very refreshing.
After mass on May 3, the congregation danced the traditional Cabeza de Cochino (Pig’s Head) dance to music played by a group of charanguero musicians, in traditional Yucateca attire – the huipil. Some special events and a fair also took place.
In the ceremonial centres of the Maya, such as Felipe Carrillo Puerto, where they are followers of the Maya-Catholic religion, they celebrate the Santa Cruz Parlante each year. This is the symbol under which the Maya united and fought for their freedom, for their land and for their dignity against the Mexicans, Creoles and Yucatan oppressors during the Caste Wars of the mid-19th century.
On May 3 in Cozumel, they also commemorate the arrival of Spanish explorer Juan de Grijalva 500 years ago in 1518. He and others that would arrive later initiated the invasion of what is today the Yucatan and Mexico, with all of the terrible consequences that we now know – death, looting and the imposition of their religion.
*Source: Radio XHNKA, CDI. Taken from website May 6 2018. http://www.cdi.gob.mx/ecosgobmx/xenka.php#page