If Malaga is famous for something, it is for its festivals and traditions, and one of the most and one of the most exciting is the one we are going to talk about next. On the day of the Virgen del Carmen, towns like Fuengirola, Torremolinos, Benalmádena and neighborhoods like Huelin and El Palo admire and venerate the Patron Saint of Fishermen in a unique and special way.
July 16 is a day of celebration for fishermen and sailors, as it is the day of their patron saint, the Virgen del Carmen. Also known as the Star of the Seas will take to the streets offering the residents of the coastal towns of Malaga a unique procession to finally enter the Mediterranean Sea.
The feast of the Virgen del Carmen is one of the most awaited by the people of Malaga and one of the reasons is its peculiar throne that passes through both land and sea, while a multitude of boats and sails follow it to honor all those who gave their lives at sea. It is a unique experience worth seeing.
If you want to see and taste the history of the fishermen, you should stop by the Beluga Restaurant, where you will taste a seafood cuisine based mainly on seafood, which will make you live a totally seafaring experience.
History of the festivity of the Virgin of Mount Carmel
The oldest manuscripts date that the veneration of the Virgen del Carmen began in the 18th century, however, it was in the year 1892 when the Patroness of Fishermen was embarked for the first time at sea. This was something new for the time, so many people went to see how the Virgen del Carmen was embarked, making it a popular and renowned event.
In this first time they placed the Patroness of Fishermen in a boat that was pulled by a steamboat known as ”Julito”, owned by the Baron of Benifayó. Behind it were a multitude of very showy and ornate boats that venerated the virgin.
Since then, on July 16 of each year, the feast of the Virgen del Carmen has been celebrated in honor of the Patroness of Fishermen.
The Virgin of Carmen and the sea
The sea is not only a place to go on vacation in the summer or to sunbathe, but for many people who depend on it, it is also their place of work where they take many risks and struggle to support their families. This blue sea is a way of life for many.
Fishermen and sailors honor their patron saint in order to harvest a good catch, that the weather is clear and that there are no dangers. That is why every year they hoist it over the sea as a sign of gratitude for its protection and support during their stay at sea. So it is clear that the day of the Virgen del Carmen unites the sea with all those people who are related to it.
One of the traditions on Carmen’s Day is that after the fireworks, the party begins. Many people usually celebrate this holiday in the center of town with their friends and family. We recommend you to have a cocktail at the prestigious Amaretto, located in the Uncibay square, in the historic center, there is no better place to enjoy a drink while admiring the oldest and most traditional Malaga. They also have delicious pizzas!
In short, if you plan to travel to Malaga in mid-July you can not miss this wonderful festival, and remember that it starts at 07:00 am, so you will have to take a great coffee and get some energy with a good breakfast like the ones they serve at the andalusian tavern Lolita.