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Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Lifestyle - Dia Virgen Del Carmen in Andalucia

On July 16, one of the most prominent summer festivals is celebrated in Andalusia, mainly in its coastal towns. The festivals are in honour of the Virgen del Carmen, the patroness of the sea.

The celebration of the Virgen del Carmen is closely linked to the sea and its people and the fishing activity of the marine populations, where for centuries it has been one of the most significant economic activities and whose work culture has shaped the ways of life of these communities of the Andalusian coast.
Maritime processions are held in order to bless the waters of the sea requesting help for the hard life of fishermen and to promote abundant catches.

The word Carmen comes from Carmelo, Mount Carmel, located in Haifa, north of Israel, in the Galilee area.

Legend has it that it is celebrated on July 16 because Simón Stock, superior of the order, asked the Virgen del Carmen for a sign of her protection. On July 16, the Virgin appeared to him with a scapular and said: “This is the sign of protection that I bring you. Anyone who dies wearing this holy scapular will not see the flames of hell. "

The people of the sea entrust themselves to the Virgen del Carmen so that the fishing is good, and the weather is clear, to overcome the dangers. The fishermen and sailors, pay homage to their Patroness, carrying her image in a procession, a maritime pilgrimage, as the seafaring tradition dictates.

The image of the Virgin is carried by porters who go barefoot into the sea, singing the Salve marinera. They pick up the image and put it on a boat. The Virgen Del Carmen continues in procession through the sea, hundreds of boats are also decorated for the occasion and full with fishermen and sailors who come to honour her by sounding their sirens. 

It truly is a magical procession, with beacons burning on the sea and the evening culminating with a spectacular firework display over the sea.

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