Last Monday, 16 July, was the feast day of Our Lady of Carmen, patron saint of seafarers and the Spanish navy. As every year, in the late afternoon the normal summer beach scene of umbrellas and sunbathers was replaced by the processions of the statue of Our Lady in communities the entire length of the Costa del Sol.
The Virgen del Carmen was taken out from local churches and carried down to the water to bless the sea and those that earn their livelihoods from it. Many towns and neighbourhoods, such as Los Boliches (Fuengirola) and La Carihuela (Torremolinos), also have Our Lady as their local patron saint and festivities were particularly fervent in those places.
Some processions will be held this weekend instead; in the Malaga city districts of Parque Litoral, Huelin and El Perchel and in the city centre, at La Malagueta beach, a submerged image of Our Lady will be spectacularly surfaced by divers in a famous procession.