July 16th is the day where tradition, emotion and devotion are felt in Torremolinos and especially in the Carihuela neighborhood. The sea is full of boats waiting for their patron saint, Virgen del Carmen who is carried in procession along the streets by sailors. It is a festivity where more than 25,000 people meet every year, being a cultural symbol of our tradition.
In addition, two years ago it was declared as festival of tourist interest by the “Diputación de Málaga”, (provincial government). The fair in La Carihuela is on from the 13th to the 16th of July, with attractions, concerts and activities, in different areas.
There are many towns that celebrate their devotion to Nuestra Señora del Carmen on the 16th of July in the province of Malaga, but the procession in La Carihuela, is one of the most traditional and popular in the province.
The image of Nuestra Señora del Carmen goes back to the end of the 19th century in a small parish church, in this traditional fishing neighborhood and was destroyed during the Civil War. It is in 1940 when the procession is resumed, with the image attributed to Francisco Palma Burgos.
As Torremolinos has a large fishing tradition, the procession of Virgen del Carmen was supposed and still does suppose the blessing of the waters, a strongly marked celebration by tradition with its greatest moment called “Embarque”, when the sailors, carrying Nuestra Señora del Carmen on their shoulders, introduce her into the sea accompanied by thousands of devotees singing “la salve marinera” ‘Hail Mary’.
They will embark Nuestra Señora del Carmen onto a “chalana”, a typical small fishermen´s boat, sailing along the coast of Torremolinos. Do not miss this moment, it is full of passion with songs, different hymns and praises. In addition, many neighbors have a bath with Nuesta Señora del Carmen to show their respect.
Before this emotional time there are several solemn ceremonies such as the mass, also of deep devotion, accompanied by a “Coro Rociero” ‘La Carihuela’ at 11 am. The departure from the church is at 7 pm and the mass before boarding at 9 pm at Rincon del Sol Beach.
Moment of embarkation and disembarkation of the Virgen del Carmen in La Carihuela. Videos of Andalucía Mola y Sarii12mc
After a tour of the waters, at around 10.30 pm Nuestra Señora del Carmen comes back to the temple, comming through the fishermen´s neighborhood, with a prayer announcing the end of the traditional festivity in Torremolinos.
The procession begins at 7 pm going through different streets of the neighborhood until it reaches Rincon del Sol beach. Before it starts, men and women dressed as sailors, concentrate at the Albaida school and arrive together at Nuestra Señora del Carmen Church.
Every year La Carihuela celebrates its fair with different leisure areas. The Traditional Municipal Stall is located in Plaza del Remo next to attractions and carriages where children have a lot of fun.
The youth has a special booth on the beach next to La Zoca restaurant, with concerts on different days to enjoy the fair.
The days before July 16th, there are also times of devotion as the floral offering, usually made the night before the procession in the surroundings of Plaza del Remo.
More than 25,000 people gather to see this traditional festivity every year, for this reason, the council of Málaga declared the Procession of “Virgen del Carmen de La Carihuela” to be of Provincial Tourist Interest in 2017 for its uniqueness.
This day is a public holiday in Torremolinos so many people celebrate traditional “moragas” on the beach with friends and family waiting for the arrival of Virgen del Carmen to sea.
Until July 16th, the Sailors Brotherhood Nuestra Señora del Carmen de La Carihuela celebrates different and traditional events before the procession. Such is the case of “La Novena”, where devotees of La Virgen del Carmen, pray in the Nuestra Señora del Carmen parish church, during nine days previous to the procession.
“San Juan” in La Carihuela, it is a traditional “moraga” (celebration on the beach” to welcome summer, in the naval neighborhood). If you want to know more about San Juan, visit the post about it, on our web site.