Next Sunday, July 16, the land-sea procession of the Virgen del Carmen is celebrated without any restrictions due to the Covid 19 pandemic in Almuñécar, the oldest city in the Mediterranean in Spain.
In full swing of the summer holidays, and with the city full of visitors, tourists and onlookers, this Sunday the spectacular procession of the patron saint of the sea and sailors will take place, which is celebrated with special devotion in Almuñécar, especially in the sailors’ quarter. And that will culminate with an impressive fireworks display that can be seen even from the beaches of Salobreña and Motril.
The Virgen del Carmen or also known as Nuestra Señora del Carmen is what the invocation of the Virgin of Santa María del Monte Carmelo is called. The devotion it receives comes from the veneration of Mount Carmel in Israel very close to the city of Haifa.
The word Carmen or Carmelo comes from the Hebrew word Karmel or Al-Karmen, which means Garden of God, although this acceptance also refers to the houses with gardens typical of some neighborhoods of Arab origin in Andalusia, the most characteristic and famous being the cármenes. from the historic neighborhood of the Albaicín in Granada, very close to Almuñécar.
The veneration of the dedication of the Virgin of Mount Carmel has been extended throughout the world by the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also called Carmelites.
In addition, it should be noted that in several countries such as Spain and others in America such as Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, the Virgen del Carmen is the patron saint of sailors and therefore of fishermen, and also of the Spanish Navy.
In Spain, a country with a great Christian and Catholic tradition and full of coastal towns and cities, the veneration for the dedication of the Virgen del Carmen is deeply rooted. Since this dedication is patron saint of all sailors and fishermen.
It should be noted that on April 19, 1901, the Queen Regent Doña María Cristina de Habsburgo, together with the Minister of the Navy Cristóbal Colón de la Cerda, endorsed the order by which the Blessed Virgin of Carmen was proclaimed Patron of the Spanish Navy .
Although by that time the veneration of the Virgen del Carmen already had deep roots throughout Spain, because since the year 1270 (in the middle of the Middle Ages) the Carmelites began to carry out the first foundations of convents and other institutions for the veneration of the Virgin of Carmen.
For this reason, practically all the cities and towns near the coast in Spain celebrate the veneration of the Virgen del Carmen on July 16, and Almuñécar especially thanks to its great tradition with this invocation of the virgin, culminated with spectacular fireworks from a place as emblematic as the Peñones del Santo.
Although devotion to the Virgen del Carmen is not limited solely to coastal towns, as some inland towns also have their festivities in honor of the Virgen del Carmen, such as Rute in the province of Córdoba or Benalúa in the same province of Granada. .
From the city of Valletta in Malta, the Virgen del Carmen is its patron saint.
In southern Italy there are also several cities that have venerated Our Lady of Mount Carmel for centuries.
And as we have previously pointed out, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica also have a great tradition of celebrating the day of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, but none like Almuñécar in the middle of the high season of influx of public, tourists, visitors and curious people.
For all this, from Discover Almuñécar we invite you to come and participate in the great festival of the patron saint of seamen and fishermen, next Sunday, July 16, 2023, to enjoy all the devotion and passion for the revered image, which will be processed from its chapel to the sea through the most emblematic streets of the city, and later board a boat where the procession will continue by the sea and passing through the Peñones del Santo at the beginning of the beach of San Cristóbal will receive the very spectacular fireworks display that the Virgin deserves.