The painting that is being used as the poster for this year’s Virgen del Carmen celebration was unveiled at a ceremony this weekend. The painting is the work of Ana Martín Gutiérrez and depicts the Virgen del Carmen at sea in front of the Balcon de Europa with fireworks in the background.

The Virgen Del Carmen is the patron saint of fishermen and sailors.  The festival begins with a floral offering on the night of the 15th, followed by music and dancing and a huge bonfire in the Plaza de Cangrejos by Torrecilla Beach.  There is entertainment for children, a bar, and free sardines.  In many ways the 15th is the highlight of the festival.

On the 16th a procession begins at the El Salvador church near the Balcon de Europa, with the municipal band leading the way followed by the statue of the Virgen del Carmen.  The procession makes its way to Torrecilla Beach where much of the town is waiting to see the statue loaded onto a boat.  From there the statue is paraded along the coastline, attended by all manner of boats, until it is brought back to land on Calahonda Beach.  The festivities are concluded with a firework display, which lights up the by now darkened sea.

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