Every year on 16th. July coastal towns and villages all over Spain celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Carmel, Star of the Sea. As the patron saint of the sea and seafaring men, a strong tradition surrounds The Virgin of Carmen on her feast day.
The charming town of Salobreña, just 30 minutes from Restábal, celebrates the feast on the beaches of La Caleta and La Guardia with the usual land and sea procession. As the sun goes down, the image of the virgin is taken from her church in procession to the marina to be embarked on a fishing boat. The Star of the Sea sails out to sea, ccompanied by all kinds and sizes of craft, sounding their horns and sirens. A stirring and visual event, well worth witnessing.
The procession leaves from Playa del Lavadero after a mass celebrated in the porch of the sugar factory in La Caleta. The fleet of 30 to 40 small craft will escort the boat with the Virgin to the estuary of the River Guadalfeo and then back to Playa La Guardia.
As is usual in Spain, the fiesta doesn’t last for just one day! Festivities start at least 3 days before.
Motril, Almuñecar and La Herradura also organise processions and activities to honour la Virgen del Carmen.
Photo credit: Miguel Vargas #Vargashov.
Posted by Susan at Casa Tagomago
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