Friday, July 16, 2010

The Blessed Virgin Mary Day

May crowning is a traditional Roman Catholic ritual that occurs in the month of May of every year. In some countries, it takes place on or about May 1, however, in many United States Catholic parishes, it takes place on Mother's Day. An image or likeness of the Blessed Virgin Mary is ceremonially crowned to signify her as Queen of Heaven and the Mother of God. The practice is also maintained in the same fashion by some Anglo Catholic Anglicans.

A number of traditions link the month of May to Mary. In ancient Greece, May was the month dedicated to Artemis and some people allege that the reverence for this goddess was transferred to Mary with the Christianization of Europe. Later, the Coronation of the Virgin became a popular subject in art. lala Alfonso X, king of Castile wrote in his "Cantigas de Santa Maria" about the special honoring of Mary during specific dates in May. Eventually, the entire month was filled with special observances and devotions to Mary. The tradition of honoring Mary in a month-long May devotion is believed to have originated in Italy, but spread eventually around the Roman Catholic world in the 19th Century together with a month-long devotion to Jesus in June and the Rosary in October.

In the Philippines, the celebration is marked with a parade called the Santacruzan, where young ladies are chosen to represent certain historical (such as St. Helena) and traditional figures, called "reynas" (examples of these titles are "Reyna Elena" and "Reyna Emperatriz"). They parade through the town, escorted by young men or boys (for example, St. Helena is escorted by a young Constantine), under mobile arches heavily decorated with local flowers or other decorations meant to denote bounty.


See also: Sending Flowers, Online Florist, Florist

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