Catholic tradition connecting 2 towns – Maritime Procession of the Virgen Del Carmen
The “Fiestas” of Arguineguin ended after a hectic fun packed 2 weeks. Each event in the fiestas left a memory and one that we wish to share with you is the beautiful and heartwarming Maritime Procession of the Virgen Del Carmen.
Virgen Del Carmen is the patron of the sea & the Spanish Armada and faithfully watches over the sailors and fishermen when out at sea. The Procession is an important occasion not only here in Arguineguin, but also throughout many coastal towns where maritime activities are important.
Here the procession is held on the previous or subsequent Sunday to July 16 and consists of a journey made by the statue of the Virgin accompanied by many devotees through the streets to the harbour where she is placed on a fishing boat and begins the journey by sea to Puerto de Mogán. A small detour is made to the Bahia at “El pajar” and a short stop in Tauro where a wreath is thrown to the sea in memory of the dead with applause and fireworks from the followers on the shore.
A highlight of the day is when Carmen arrives in Puerto de Mogán she is reunited with her sister to the applause and tears of the devotees, together they make their way to the town square where prayers, songs and dances are offered. The return journey is then made to Arguineguin and 2 weeks later she receives a visit from her sister when the same procession is made from Puerto de Mogan.
The locals live this special day with enthusiasm, dedication and many emotions due to the special religious meaning but they also make sure that it is a day of celebration full of colour and joy free for all to join in as they wish.
This year saw the participation of 80 fishing boats and leisure boats decorated for the occasion and full of people eager to follow Carmen on her 4 hour journey.
The tradition originally started off over 60 years ago, long before the harbours of Arguineguin and Mogan existed. Separate crossings by the fishermen & the Virgin were made from the sea shore in Arguineguin to the Bahia in “El Pajar” and vice versa. This is the reason why at present the procession diverts to “El Pajar” before continuing to Puerto de Mogán.
The procession as we now know it dates back between 25 to 28 years, the decision made for 2 reasons – the inauguration approx. 30 years ago of the port of Mogan and Arguineguin and the other as a further religious custom of using the fishing boats as a means of maintaining contact between the villages.