The operation was led by the sacristan and local guards. For their part, the children and young men would light “jopos” or “guisopos”, consisting of reeds topped with a ball of flax, which they would set on fire. With these torches they ran around the square and when the door of the church was opened to give way to the procession of Christ, a guard of the City Council set fire to one of the huts, which at times became a bonfire, which was jumped with fantastic caprioles, by the local lads.
The second hut was lit – in the middle of an impressive silence – when the procession enters the church again “Behold the Velá, night not to sleep or dedicated to some work, as its meaning says….
No one who contemplates these bonfires can fail to think of the flames that were erected centuries ago on top of the mountains, in honor of the fire and the moon, and that did not totally disappear when these lands were Christianized”.
The Chozos de la Velá, are reminiscent of those cults; cults that were rendered in the nights of full moon, on top of the cliffs of the mountains, where formerly was settled the enclave that gave rise to Santa Cruz. “And it would not be adventurous to affirm that the today disappeared tambourine dance that many years ago was practiced daily and at dusk in the Plazuela del Fraile, where people sang and danced to the sound of the tambourine or tambourine played lately by the “Espinas”, -family to which this was linked for many years- was reminiscent of those chorus of dances that revolved around the fire in honor of him and the moon””.
We would have then, that the fire, the divinity, the essential, remained with the time ascribed to religious ceremonies, and the chorus and the dances, the accessory, the external form of the cult, passed to profane rejoicings that end in the dance and in the song to which we were making reference”.
At present, three bonfires are lit: one in front of the church, another at the back of the church and a third in one of the town squares. It is also worth mentioning the small half moons or amulets that some Santa Cruz mothers hung around the necks of their children so that the Goddess of the Night would not cause them serious ills, since she was blamed for many fevers and infantile disorders. They were made with old dimes and some strung together in a necklace with hedgehog teeth or put in a bag, with a small cross made of mulberry wood and all hanging from the infant’s neck. “Would it form the hedgehog in the local Olympus of the time?”, crescent moons were usually engraved with a face and some with a cross, from which it is clear once again that Christianity, not being able to totally uproot the belief, imposed the stamp of its symbolism.
Here is another reminiscence that comes down to our days of the cult of the moon, “Astro turned into divinity and that influenced our life”, and to which the ancients had to keep deep fear and respect in order to avoid its wrath, which would reach even the children; to whom they protected from its evil ones hanging from their neck the effigy of the goddess Moon, the goddess of mystery and confusion; the numen of the fructification and periodic regeneration of life, that of the eternal return…