The Fiestas del Carmen of Realejos San Agustin are most likely leading by their amount of activities. Puerto de la Cruz certainly tops in Tenerife by the spectacle of the "embarcaciónes" the embarkments of the statues of San Telmo and Virgen del Carmen. Both are town fishermen patrons, while the Madonna sculpture of Realejos also figures as Patron of the entire Valley of La Orotava.
These events of Tenerife North are so important that a new posters and brochures are created by both towns year by year.
These celebrations are part of the Fiestas de Julio (July). They have their own Fiesta queens, while sports competitions also play a big role, above all in neighboring Realejos. Then, the latter's suburb San Agustin which harbors a Marian shrine attracts a magnitude of people while thousands spread all over the Puerto Cruz hub with its Muelle and its fishing hamlet La Ranilla.
Its first ocean ride fiesta will be 100 years old on July 13 of 2021. Its first Cofradia del Carmen was founded in 1919 after that of the Cofradia del Gran Poder de Dios in 1917.
July 16, 2019 stages the main Fiesta del Carmen ocean ride by about 8.m. in Puerto de la Cruz after an evening mass.
A second one the Chiquita takes place on Sunday July 21 by about 6.pm.
July 16 in El Puerto Cruz is also day of the Gran Poder de Dios.
Saint San Telmo or Elmo the fisherman patron is taken before the Virgin onto a smaller boat. The ocean journey may lead as far as Hotel Maritim if the Atlantic permits. The 10 small speed rescue boats I saw in 2019 will most probably escort the saint and the patroness for safety reasons.
Hundreds of cheering people of all age are knee deep submerged in the port's water near the shore during the loading ceremony. There, they splash the water with amazing energy and
emotion to salute the safe boarding. Viva is the song of the moment. A little later you shall not only hear praises by the virgin's fisherman guild who chant "Guapa, guapa, guapa", but also an Ave Maria sung by a tenor or sopranist. The adding on board of town dignities as well as the island Bishop follows suite by Muelle stairs. The small harbor is filled with powerful emotions.
It is this fact of brotherhood that excels the Fiestas del Carmen of the two neighboring municipalities. In 2019, on July 28, the Marinos the sailors of El Puerto start their yearly pilgrimage to San Agustin a suburb of Realejos by the port at 9 a.m. That's most likely also the day of the Realejo Potato Papa Bonita events.
Here, it must be mentioned that the so called Marinos of
Puerto de la Cruz have been traditional bearers of the Marian statue of
Los Realejos since about the middle of the eighteenth century. They never stopped the habit when they had a beautiful Madonna of Carmel themselves. This turns this event into one of the most remarkable of all Fiesta celebrations in Tenerife.
Needless to say, merry dancing, good food, wine, folk songs, Zarzuelas and balls of the Magos play a big part
during the Carmelite Fiestas of Realejos as well as in Puerto de la Cruz. Then, the Hermandades the brotherhoods, the Cofradias as well as the Marinos chant their peculiar short praises besides the "Salve Maria" year after year during the processions. Mayors from both cities join each others processions. Guardia Civil police from as far as Icod de los Vinos puts up a prominent show for the safety of the towns.
In 1725, the wealthy congregation of Realejo Bajo became owner of a most beautiful wooden statue of the Virgen del Carmen made by Antón Maria Maragliano of Genua.
In 1901 a Royal order from Madrid declared Our Lady of Carmel patroness of Marine trade and all seafarers which inludes the Royal Spanish Armada.
Church Iglesia del Carmen San Agustin of Realejos the number Two sancturary of Tenerife has been the destination of pilgrimage for devoted Catholics of Tenerife North since 1904.
Mind also a somewhat disputed Marian apparition early in XX to a South American woman near the Paraglider Pistes of Icod El Alto.
In 2015 on its fiftieth anniversary, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen at San Agustin of Los Realejos became a Catholic sanctuary under Pope Francis. (Francisco in Spanish)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Virgen del Carmen is ongoing Mayoress of Los Realejos and Patron of the Valley of la Orotava as well as of all Marinos.
The Catholic devotion of the Realejos town folks is extraordinary. There on Wednesdays at the Sanctuary, women bring their new born babies to be blessed by Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
However, the celebrations in her name also have a very mundane side. Needless to say, even worldly Fiesta queens are crowned for the occasion and fireworks are never amiss.
Get a better idea about the July celebrations of Los Realejos by last year's activities
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