Hello. If today, Friday July 16, you find that the majority of shops and supermarkets are closed, that’s normal. With four weeks off in Spain, public holidays are more important than in France or Belgium, with local festivals, Andalusia Day at the end of February, San Isidro (patron saint of peasants) and Virgen del Carmen , patron saint of fishermen.
This year, and as part of health respects, the processions will be cancelled, but you can stroll along the port and the Iglesia Virgen del Carmen to feel the event that this day represents for many locals.
On July 16, the maritime procession takes place, by land and by sea, in honor of Our Lady of Carmen, patroness of Estepona. The procession, one of the strongest traditions in Estepona, starts from the Church of Our Lady of Carmen and continues along the Paseo Marítimo, where two crowds await it, one made up of tourists and worshipers Esteponeros on the seaside, and the other with boats of all sizes decked out for the occasion, which come to welcome the Virgin, all in an atmosphere of joy and celebration. The head of the procession enters the water, until the bearers of the image feel their bodies and their clothes covered by the sea, at the same time as they sing “La Salve Marinera”. The Virgin is then hoisted onto a boat. The Señora del Carmen continues her procession by sea, followed by all the boats crowded with people and sailors who, amid cheers and sirens, come to accompany their patroness on her journey through the waters of Estepona. Once back on dry land, he continues his journey along the Paseo Marítimo, until he returns to his hermitage and waits until July 16 of the following year to walk again among its inhabitants.
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