As a predominantly Catholic oriented country, Spain has many religion-based celebrations and traditions. It's hard to say exactly how many there are, because in addition to the national holidays, every comunidad autónoma also has its own local traditions and fiestas. It is estimated that, across Spain, about 280 official festivals are celebrated each year. And although the majority of these celebrations have a religious origin, the emphasis remains on the word celebration. With lots of (loud) music, dancing, good food and often dazzling fireworks.
Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen
And so we are on the eve of another great celebration: the annual Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen.
The Virgin Carmen is the patron saint of the sea and ensures the safety of fishermen and sailors. Every year on July 16 – with the exception of the last 2 due to the pandemic – the fishermen thank the Virgin for a good catch and a safe return home. The statue of the saint is carried through the streets to the sea in a festive procession. There it is then ceremonially hoisted aboard a fishing boat and then sailed along the coast.
Where can I go see this?
Several celebrations are planned along the coast. The one that I can really recommend (mainly because I lived right next door for years and is therefore a real insider tip ), is that of Puerto de Santiago. This village, just under the smoke of Los Gigantes, has always managed to preserve its character as a fishing village. On the plaza of Puerto de Santiago, the festivities have been going on since July 7th. But the absolute highlight is the evening of July 16. At 9:40 PM the procession with the statue of the saint starts through the streets, followed by a mega spectacular fireworks display and live music.
How do I get there?
Puerto de Santiago is easily accessible by bus (with a car you won't get past the traffic, and parking is mission impossible on those days). So leave the car at home and take the bus or taxi (a one-way taxi from Costa Adeje will cost you about 25 euros and only takes 20 minutes; the bus takes about 45 minutes). For information about the bus, click here.
Or go there by bus and come back by taxi, if you want to save some money. The last bus to Costa Adeje leaves at 11.30 PM but then you miss the fireworks. In any case, many options, and guaranteed a very nice evening!
So much for some insider tips. Stay safe and Hasta Pronto!