July 14, 2008

Virgen del Carmen fiestas in Torrevieja
On Wednesday 16th July it is the day of the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of fishermen. The town of Torrevieja will be holding its fiestas in honour of the saint. It is particularly appropriate for the town with its fishing fleet and maritime history. This annual festival is a truly beautiful one to witness. It is hugely popular. With the town full of holiday makers it draws thousands every year to watch the statue of the Virgen being carried by costaleros from the Inmaculada church through the town and down to the harbour where it is carried on to one of the fishing boats and taken around the harbour for good luck for the following year before being brought back and carried back to its resting place in the church once more. The ceremony on Wednesday takes place in the evening and it is a very evocative sight to see the statue being carried against the background of the setting sun and with the last rays of the sun disappearing, the outline of the Madonna standing out against the darkening sky. The International cofradia was honoured last year and asked to supply some of its members to help carry the statue and they have been asked again this year to supply some costaleros for the occasion.
There are plenty of other activities planned during the fiesta and highlights from the full programme are printed below.
Friday 11th July
10.00 pm – Crowning of the Queen of the Sea in the Virgen del Carmen cultural centre at
Sunday 13th
9.30 am – July Children’s games in the fishing Lonja (fish market) includes sack races, egg and spoon race and so on. Trophies for the first three in each event 10.30 am Regatta
Tuesday 15th July
2.00 pm – Paella competition in the Lonja, always good fun to watch with prizes for the first three.
At the same time there is a giant paella cooking away in the port area outside the Lonja (fish market).
Wednesday 16th July
‘Dia de La Virgen del Carmen’ 7.30 pm Mass in the Inmaculada after which the statue of the Virgen is carried to the port where it will be placed on board the fishing vessel ‘Verónica Ruso’ and will be taken around the harbour. On its return there will be music from Torrevieja bands accompanied by Corales Francisco Vallejos and Maestro Casanove who will sing ‘la Slave Marinera’. Then there are fireworks and the statue will be processed back to the Inmaculada church.

Everybody enjoy the local holiday and fingers crossed for gorgeous weather.

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