Our Lady of the Sunken Souls: Festa do Carmen

Our Lady of Carmen, the seamen’s protector, is every year taken from her shrine in Church of San Cibrán out to the sea, o mar, where her melancholic face looks down into the depths searching for the sunken souls of this town of seafarers.

 

 

The men and women of Aldán have since time immemorial harvested the fruits of the sea, and the sea too has for ever taken these sailors in storms, under currents, and on rocks. Shedding silent tears for the dead, the Virgen of Carmen presides over this annual celebration-commiseration, and on her behalf flowers are tossed to the water in remembrance of those who never came back to shore.

 

 

Her marine procession is accompanied by the sound of bagpipes, horns, and percussion, which upon her return to the mainland are drowned out by a barrage of rockets launched to the sky celebrating her maritime journey. A cheer erupts, dancing breaks out, and Our Lady of the Carmen is carried back to her sanctuary, her porcelain face of eternal sadness the fishermen’s console in San Cibrán for another year on.

 

 

Lives and Times…

Submerge yourself in the sea with Lives and Times:

Cangas do Morrazo: A Soul of the Sea

Sensations of the Sea: The Blind Sailors of the Rías Baixas

The Seascapes of O Morrazo: Photo gallery

…Writing on the World Around Us

 

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