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Virgen del Carmen

On the evening of July 16 the fishermen and sailors patron Virgen del Carmen is being celebrated in most coastal towns and fishing villages in Spain and South America


Virgen del Carmen in La Cala de Mijas

Most popular are the celebrations in Andalusia, where fishing villages and towns along the coast have colorful processions with a flower-covered Virgen. She is always carried down to the beach and in some cities launched into sea in a boat and other cities she is simply carried into the water. The entire village enters the streets to participate in the celebrations and everything often terminates with a huge fireworks display.

The celebration varies from city to city, some cities have celebrations even the next day. In Malaga there is a procession, both 16, and the following Sunday. The festival is especially important in fishing villages in such as Estepona, Fuengirola (Los Boliches), Torremolinos, Vélez-Málaga and Rincón de la Victoria.

Virgen del Carmen is an annotation of the Virgin Mary and has its roots in the Old Testament when the aging prophet Elijah was a hermit on Mount Carmel “Monte Carmelo”. Hundreds of years later, and when pilgrims arrived in the Prophet’s path, they asked for protection during the journey of “Our Lady of Mount Carmel”, which later led to the Virgen del Carmen and festivals that are now celebrated.


Virgen del Carmen on the beach in La Cala de Mijas. Photo: Erixon Consulting