Monday, July 11, 2022

Embarkation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Crowds gather in Puerto de la Cruz for the Embarcación de Nuestra Señora del Carmen

Tomorrow, Tuesday 12 July 2022, is the Embarcación de Nuestra Señora del Carmen y San Telmo (Embarkation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and San Telmo), the big day of the Great July Fiestas in Puerto de la Cruz. It was 1921 when the parish of Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia decided to celebrate in this way. The first maritime procession of the Virgen del Carmen was held on July 12, 1921, but last year it was not held for its centenary, because of the pandemic, so this will be a much awaited and very special edition.

The Virgen del Carmen is the patron saint of fishermen, and is celebrated in many municipalities of Tenerife, but it is in Puerto de la Cruz where it reaches its peak.

The images are carried in procession by the fishermen, from their hermitage to the small beach of the fishing pier. There they are embarked and processed along the coast. For most of the fishermen, this is a long-awaited day, in which they sing to the Virgin the “Salve Reina de los Mares” (Save the Queen of the Seas).

It all starts in the early hours of the morning, when the pier fills with visitors, and after mass, is the Chocolatada, where chocolates are distributed to start the festivities. When the Virgin is taken to the shores of the sea, the onlookers try to enter the water to wet her with the salt water. Later the Virgin leaves in procession through the streets of Puerto de la Cruz. At the end, a great firework display is made and the images return to their respective churches.