Monday, 13 July 2015

Viva la Virgen del Carmen!!!!

This Thursday (16th of July), Estepona will be celebrating  the Virgen del Carmen, the Patron Saint of fishermen and sailors and the main Patron Saint of the city. 

The procession is one of the most important traditions in Estepona. Will start at the Church of  "Nuestra Sra. Del Carmen" (1) around 19:30hs and continues along the promenade, where two large groups, one of tourists and devotees of Estepona on the seashore, and the other in boats of all sizes decorated for the occasion, follow it in an atmosphere of joy and festivity. 

Once they reach "Correos", the beach near the post office, (2) the Virgin is put into the water (if the weather and sea conditions allow it), while the devote bearers sing "La Salve Marinera". Then, they raise the Virgin and put it on a boat. The Lady of Carmen continues its procession by sea, followed by all the boats crowded with people cheering, using the boat's sirens and  throwing fireworks. 

It was once believed, that the Virgin cleared up the waters with her presence and that only after July 16 would the sea be fit for swimming in. We can clearly confirm that it was the Virgin that kicked off the swimsuit season!!.

It is also an evening where all the restaurants in the city centre get packed, so if you are planning to go out to have dinner (on the Spanish dinner time, after 22:00), booking a table is recommendable. 

Keep in mind that Thursday is bank holiday in Estepona. Supermarkets, banks and shops are close.  

Viva la Virgen del Carmen!!

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