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Boarding of Virgen del Carmen - Puerto de la Cruz

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The festivities of July in Puerto La Cruz celebrate their big day next Tuesday July 15th with the traditional boarding of La Virgen del Carmen and SanTelmo.
The day of the boarding, the quiet and friendly tourist city of Puerto La Cruz is totally transformed. From early in the morning, thousands of people gather to witness the loading of Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Carmen accompanied by San Telmo, Patron Saint of sailors.
The crowd arrives from everywhere to worship the "Queen of the Seas" and the patron saint of sailors, the popular and religious fervour star in this special day for “portuenses” (citizens of Puerto de La Cruz).
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The religious ceremony takes place about five o'clock in the afternoon in honour of the Virgin and SanTelmo, in the parish of  Nuestra  de la  Peña de Francia, crowded into this special afternoon. The most exciting moment of this religious event happens when the Chargers of the Virgin and San Telmo, claiming with zeal and impatience from outside the temple, suddenly burst inside it to take the venerable statues and the expected  procession begins.

The procession covers the streets to the harbour, pushing through the crowd. With emotions and sweat deeply felt  by the effort made, the Chargers show their faith throughout the tour, giving the Virgin compliments, moving and swinging her at a rhythm which simulates the movements of the waves.
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When the images arrive at the dock, they are received with applauses by the crowd  waiting for them. Before the boarding, Chago Melian sings the “Ave Maria”, bringing tears to many in the audience. The memory of those who went to sea and did not return or the memory of mothers and grandmothers who were called like the "Queen of the Seas" excites all who keep this kind of sadness in their hearts.
 
With difficulty and slowness, the Virgin and SanTelmo reach the sea and are placed into fishing boats. This is the most tense and exciting moment, because there is always the fear they may fall into the water.

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After the boarding of San Telmo over  a small gig, hundreds of arms try to raise La  Virgen del Carmen to avoid that the water touches her mantle. Between cries and nerves, the Virgin arrives at the boat. Then hundreds of hands splash the water shouting: “NO PASA NADA, LA VIRGEN ESTÁ EMBARCADA”, which means the Virgin is safely on board.
Both craft are accompanied by smaller ones involved in the sea cruise along the coast.
On their  return and after the landing of the statues, the procession  starts once again through the decorated streets of  La Ranilla, fishermen’s neighbourhood.
  
Ir a: Puerto de la cruz
Ir a: Ave María por Chago Melián
Origin of  La Fiesta del  Carmen
The name Carmen comes from Caramel. Mount Caramel is located in Galilee, in the northern part of Israel, along the Mediterranean Sea.
Carmen (Karmel in Arabic) means "Garden" and "vineyard of God" in Hebrew.
 
In olden days, this fertile area was planted with vineyards.
The prophets worshiped God at Mount Caramel. In the mid-twelfth century, devotees from the West moved into the area and chose as their patron saint the Virgin Mary.
 
They built the first church dedicated to the Virgin of Mount Carmel, being the origin of Carmelites order.
La Virgen del Carmen is the Patron Saint of fishermen and the Spanish Navy.
Almost all towns and cities on the Spanish coast celebrate and worship La  Virgen del Carmen organizing maritime processions.
Other places that worship her are: Malta, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
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