Today 16th July is the official Saints day of Nuestra Señora del Carmen. From this date onwards a variety of events and celebrations are held in various towns around Lanzarote, including Teguise, Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen. The most impressive aspect of this saint’s day is the maritime procession, when the effigy of Saint Carmen is paraded out of the church and carried through the town, down to the water’s edge. Where a boat festooned with flowers transports the saint out onto the waves. The boat carrying her likeness is surrounded by a flotilla of fishing vessels, as the fishermen make their annual blessing of the sea and pray for a bountiful catch during the coming year. Both Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen have churches dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Carmen. A repetition which testifies to both towns’ origins as small fishing villages, when many local families survival would have depended on the haul they could bring in from the sea. The historical significance of the fiesta can be traced back all the way to the maritime town of Haifa in Israel. Which is where the cult of Carmen (or Carmel, as she is known there) began. Its emergence as a focal point in the Roman Catholic calendar occurred over centuries, but certainly by the eighteenth century, the current style of festival had begun.
EVENTS TAKING PLACE THIS WEEK
Monday 16th of July 19:00 Religious procession through the streets of Playa Blanca 21:30 Performance by the group Areia, who fuse various musical styles
Tuesday 17th of July 18:00 Children’s party at the Plaza del Carmen 19:00 Draw and start of the Chinchon tournament (Spanish Card game) at the festival enclosure 20:00 Talk about the Cruz del Mar fishing boat, who’s occupants were murdered by terrorists off the coast of the Western Sahara 40 years ago. 20:30 Magic Show in the Plaza del Carmen 21:00 3rd round of the Envite Tournament (Canarian Card Game) at the Festival enclosure
Wednesday 18th of July 18:30 Dessert-making competition (AA.VV La Aurora) 19:30 Draw and start of the Ronda Tournament (Card Game) at the Festival enclosure 21:00 Playback (miming to pre-recorded music at the Plaza del Carmen
Thursday 19th of July 17:30 Children’s games at the Plaza del Carmen 18:30 Exhibition and Tournament from Escuela Mencey (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) at the Plaza 21:00 Dance Exhibition by Rachael Thomson Escuela de Danza at the Plaza del Carmen
Friday 20th of July 18:00 Children’s Cinema at the AA.VV La Aurora 19:30 Zumba Master Class at the Plaza del Carmen 21:30 Youth Night presented by Alci Rivero from Happy FM, with DJs , singers and dancers.
Saturday 21st of July 10:00 Children’s games with bouncy castles at the Plaza del Carmen 12:00 Sailing Regatta of 5 meter Vela Latina class boats 21:30 Live music from Sincomplejos, who perform covers of Spanish hits 23:00 Music and Dance with Orquesta MamboRiko and Grupo Leyenda Joven at the Plaza
Sunday 22nd of July 09:00 Travesia Museo Atlantico Playa Blanca. Swimming race from Papagayo beach to Playa Dorada. 11:30 Junior Swimming race at the town beach 12:30 Travesia Hesperia Playa Dorada (swimming race) 16:30 Religious Maritime Procession 21:30 Concert from Grupo Pellizco and David de Maria at the Plaza del Carmen, followed by fireworks.