Wednesday, May 5, 2010
How sweet the Cross
Monday was the Day of the Cross here - as I learned last year, on this festival Salvadorans display a wooden cross in their house, green wood from a tree grown in the Suchitoto area that can sprout again. The cross is decorated with flowers and fruits and sweets - as Peggy O'Neill pointed out to me, the message is "how sweet the Cross"! The photo here is of the cross we decorated in our patio, not an outstanding example of the practice.
This celebration has its roots in pre-Columbian traditions: this is the time when the rains are supposed to begin, and the fruitful wood is a symbol of the land's fertility, a call for the blessing of rain. This year the rains have already begun. We've seen rain every day since I returned from New Jersey a week ago - an early start to the rainy season which more typically begins in middle or late May. Farmers will be out planting corn in the milpas, hoping that the rains will continue to bless the crop each day until harvest. May there be an abundant harvest!