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Flores de Mayo & Santa Cruzan


Flores de Mayo


The Queen 


Filipino Festivals


month-long festival 


in honour 



Virgin Mary

Flores de Mayo

Santa Cruzan


The parade 


the last day 


the festival


in honour 


Reyna Helena



© Steve Marcotte

Offering flowers


During the festival in May  flowers are offered to the virgin Mary at the altar in the church. Young children, girls, dressed in white, will visit the church with cut flowers and baskets of petals in their hands. While walking to the altar, they sprinkle the petals in honour of Mama Mary. At the altar they leave the bouquet of flowers. Every afternoon. 

Nine days of prayer  in honour of the Holy Cross, precedes the procession the Santa Cruzan.The procession is always the final part of the festival of Flores de Mayo. The procession is a pageant held in many cities and even in small villages. 


The highlight of the celebration, is the Santa Cruzan, the procession on the last day of the festival in honour of Reyna Helena. In the year 326 A.D. she and her son left Rome and searched for the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. At last they found the Holy Cross and brought it back to Rome, the capital of their empire. 

It is more a parade than a religious procession. Instead of icons or images, beautiful young women (or gays) with appropriate theatrical costumes, portray biblical and historical characters. Almost all sagalas, the persons in the parade, symbolize queens from the past! Each sagala is dressed beautiful and is looking as the 'real'  Reyna (Queen)!


More about the historical explanation of the Santa Cruzan...

Constantine, the emperor of Rome some hundreds of years ago, had a dream in which he was asked to go to the battle field to fight in the name of the Holy Cross. He conquered his enemy and that victory led to his conversion into a Christian. He became the first Christian emperor in history.  His mother  Reyna Elena, was inspired by all these experiences and in the year 326 A.D., she  went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to seek the Holy Cross,  the wooden cross on which Christ was supposed to have been nailed. She successfully found the Holy Cross, complete with its inscription `INRI` on its top. 

The religious procession is a re-enactment of the finding of the Holy Cross by Reyna Helena. 


         Some of the Reynas        

Left: Reyna Elena (Queen Helena),  the founder of the true Cross, represented by a small cross. 



Right: Reyna de las Flores (Queen of Flowers),  carries a bouquet of flowers.



More Reyna´s in the parade

     Reyna de las Virgines,  carries a rosary and is surrounded by two angels.
     Reyna Fe (Faith),  symbolizes the virtue of faith, she carries a cross.
     Reyna Justicia, the "mirror of justice". She carries a weighting scale and a sword.

     Veronica,  the woman who wiped the face of Jesus. 

           She carries a bandana imprinted with the three faces of  Jesus.

    Rosa Mystica, she carries a bouquet of roses.

    Reyna Mora,  represents the dominant religion before Christianity. 

           ( Moro : Filipino Muslims)

    Reyna Esperanza, symbolizes the virtue of hope. She carries an anchor.



Black Nazarene






Santa Cruzan

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