Flores de Mayo
A catholic festival held in the Philippines during the month of May, Flores de Mayo is dedicated to Virgin Mary. Introduced to the region by Spaniards, the festival takes place during the most pleasurable month in the Philippines when the scent of fragrant flowers fills the air as the rains start to pour.
The altars and aisles of Parish Churches are beautifully decorated to celebrate the Flores de Mayo which translates to "Flowers of May".
Religious Festivals, Philippines
Most people celebrate by congregating to offer flowers to the Virgin Mary, pray the rosary and share homemade snacks and delicacies. At many parishes, the festivities conclude with "Santacruzan" an elaborate procession to the Church where an evening mass is held.
A religio-historical beauty pageant, 'Santacruzan' is held in many towns, cities and small communities as one of the most interesting features of the festival. The pageant depicting the discovery of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena sees the participation of many tv and movie personalities.
Beautiful young ladies are chosen to represent the commemoration's various characters known as the "Accolades of Our Lady". The ladies dressed in colourful attire are escorted by their consorts under bamboo arches decorated with colourful native flowers. The procession of ladies is followed by devotees holding lit candles and joining in songs of praise. The steady beat of rondalla accompanies the procession.
Following the procession, participants and children in particular get to enjoy the Pabítin which is a square trellis to which special treats such as fruits and candies are tied with strings.