|The Virgen del Carmen ist the patron of the sailors and fishermen. It is celebrated every year on July 16th.|
According to the Catholic religion every day of the year celebrates a saint or holy person and this day is given the name of that person. Consequently people of that same name, celebrate their "name day and in certain places it is celebrated more than a birthday.
July 16th is the name day for Carmen.
The Virgin del Carmen is the patron saint for fishermen and almost every coastal town or village hosts a religious procession starting at about 20h leading from the Church of the Virgin del Carmen (always somewhere near the port or the fishermens houses) down to the beach and out onto the sea.
People are gathered on the beach, waiting patiently for the arrival of the Virgin del Carmen and all kinds of boats from the smallest rowing boat to large trawlers are on the sea close to the shore, in expectancy of her arrival. The atmosphere builds up as the boats ignite all their lights and shoot flares into the night sky.
The pall bearers walk into the sea, carrying the pall and it then becomes obvious that the pall is also a motorised boat which then goes out to the boats blessing them individually. Many spectators also jump into the sea and join in with the blessing. By this time it is dark and the intensity of the lights, the flares, and the people's euphoria is truly a spectacle to be seen and experienced.
The pall is then picked up further down the beach and carried ceremoniously back up to the main road from where the procession continues back to the church around midnight.
This festive day brings together all generations, celebrating on the beaches along the coast and showing once again the splendour of the Spanish way of life.