July 16th is a special day in the festival calender – it is the day of the Virgen del Carmen. Throughout fishing comunities along the coasts of Andalucia, sailors and fishermen, in traditional dress carry their religious effigy on their shoulders, upon a flower covered 'trono' reminiscent of Easter Parades.
The celebrations vary; and this year we went to Fuengirola. My photography is not great as I only used my iphone that doesn't function well in the low light conditions, but it gives you a flavour of this magical evening.
On this occasion the Virgen was taken out to sea by the sailors, almost neck high in water! Some years she is taken out on a boat, followed by a flotilla of "jábegas" (local fishing boats). Either way, there is always live music, a great atmosphere of people celebrating and filling the streets and beaches and fireworks lighting the sky.
Afterwards is a time to eat and drink, including the classic sardine skewers or 'espetos'.