Enjoy the Festivities in Honor of the Virgin of Carmen in Corralejo! (6.07-23.07)
Where did the celebrations come from?
Among the patron saint celebrations related to the sea, the one that garners the most prominence and fervor in Fuerteventura is undoubtedly the one in honor of the Virgen del Carmen. Many fishing villages celebrate these festivities with true devotion.
In Corralejo, the veneration for the Virgen del Carmen is almost as old as the history of the town itself. Its residents have lived for centuries from agriculture, fishing and cereal processing. Numerous remains of mills scattered throughout the town bear witness to this last activity, once dedicated to the production of flour and gofio (a local staple food).
At the end of the 19th century, some families from Lanzarote crossed the Bocaina Strait to settle in the budding town of Corralejo. They brought with them some of their traditions and devotions. Devotion to the Virgen del Carmen was one of them. Another festival they brought was the Baile de San Pascual, a celebration that disappeared from Corralejo decades ago.
At the beginning of the 20th century, around thirty families were settled in Corralejo. It became necessary at that time to build a sanctuary that would attend to the spiritual needs of the population. Until then, the inhabitants of Corralejo had to travel to La Oliva to attend Mass and other religious events.
The church of Corralejo was built in 1923 on land donated by Francisco Manrique de Lara y Ríos. It was erected by a master builder from Lanzarote named Matías. As a nod to his homeland, the builder arranged for the sanctuary’s apse to roughly point towards the Montaña Roja volcano on the nearby island of Lanzarote.
The original temple of Corralejo was of small dimensions. It consisted of a single rectangular nave with an attached sacristy on the epistle side. The facade was very simple, with a semi-circular arch atthe entrance, made of volcanic stone, housing the only wooden door composed of two leaves. The old hermitage was crowned with a belfry that held a bell. Two perillones protruded from the facadeon either side ofthe belfry.
The sculpture of the Virgen del Carmen of Corralejo was acquired outside of Fuerteventura by the Manrique de Lara family and placed in the altarpiece that the lighthouse keeper of Lobos, Antonio Manzanet, had specially crafted for the hermitage.
Since the inauguration of the church of Corralejo, the festivities in honor of its patron, Our Lady of Carmen, have been celebrated with a terrestrial-maritime procession. The image of the Virgin was placed on wooden platforms, and after the Eucharist, the townspeople carried her on their shoulders to the beach. At that time, the Muelle Chico (Small Pier) did not yet exist.
In the 1964 festivities, the Virgen del Carmen could be comfortably embarked from the pier, now known as the Muelle Chico. Hundreds of people gathered there to witness the arrival and boarding of the image onto a beautifully adorned fishing boat, which sailed through a significant part of the bay of Corralejo. Another protagonist soon joined the procession: the image of the Corazón de Jesús (Heart of Jesus).
The Carmen festivities in Corralejo were significant in the 1960s and 1970s. The entire fishing fleet of Fuerteventura would anchor in this town to accompany their patron saint during her maritime stroll every July 16th. It even happened that fishing boats operating in the Canary fishing grounds would leave their tasks and approach Corralejo to honor their patron saint before returning to work.
During that time, the festival committee already presented a varied and rich program of recreational and sports activities. Among the activities that could not be missed were swimming competitions, Canarian wrestling matches, football, underwater fishing contests, rowing boat regattas, sack races, and traditional games. Dances and theatrical performances were also held.
The tourist boom in the late 1970s extended the Corralejo Carmen festivities by a few days. There was also a day dedicated to welcoming visitors: “Tourist Day”.
The 1980s brought significant changes. The most important one was the demolition of the old temple and the construction of a new one. The patron saint festivities also underwent modernization. However, the devotion to the Virgen del Carmen has not waned. As before, the Bay of Corralejo fills with vessels sounding their horns in gratitude for the Patroness’ protection of seafarers, and the shores of Playa del Muelle Chico remain crowded with people awaiting the boat that will bring the Virgin.
This year's celebrations
From July 6th to 23rd, events for all audiences will take place.
The town of Corralejo is preparing to celebrate the festivities in honor of Our Lady of Carmen from Thursday, July 6th, until Sunday, July 23rd. The program includes more than twenty events and activities for all audiences.
On Thursday, the main streets of the town will be adorned with decorations accompanied by traditional music. On Friday, the Dunas de Corralejo Folklore Festival will take place at 9:00 p.m. in the Patricio Calero Square, featuring the A.F. Dunas de Corralejo and the A.F. Los Poliguanches (Gáldar).
Among the events organized by the Festival Department of the La Oliva City Council, the Paseo Parrandero in honor of the Virgin’s image stands out. It will take place on Saturday, July 8th, at 6:00p.m. along Avenida Nuestra Señora del Carmen, culminating at the town’s church. There will also be a children’s afternoon on Friday, July 14th, with the participation of local children.
The Queens group, and the musical show MUSIPOPS. On Tuesday, July 18th, at 8:00 p.m., the Eucharist and Nocturnal Procession accompanied by the Drum and Bugle Band of the Soria Regiment No. 9 will be held, followed by a musical performance by local residents and the eagerly awaited fireworks display. On Saturday, July 22nd, the XVIII Improvisers’ Meeting will take place at Muelle Chico.
On Sunday, July 16th, there will be a maritime-terrestrial religious function. The La Oliva City Councilinforms that, for safety reasons, the only boarding point will be at the jetties, and boarding from the area of Muelle Chicois prohibited. At the end of the function, a musical performance by the group Son, Salsa y Timba and Laly Lean will take place at Muelle Chico in Corralejo.
The musical evenings will feature orchestras and musical groups. On Friday, July 14th, there will be performances by the group Kandela (Fuerteventura) and the Banda Larga orchestra (Gran Canaria).On Saturday, July 15th, the orchestras Star Music (Gran Canaria), The Boys Machine (Tenerife), and Nuevo Klan (Fuerteventura) will perform. On Wednesday, July 19th, the Jacomar Orchestra (Fuerteventura) will take the stage, followed by the Armonía Show orchestra and Grupo Arena (GranCanaria) on Friday, July 21st. On Saturday, July 22nd, DJ Guevara, Grupo Arena, Nuevo Klan, and Kandela will perform.
Sports also play a significant role in the festivities, with the collaboration of the Sports Department. They will organize the Senior and Children’s Indoor Soccer Tournament, the Women’s Basketball match “Viejas Glorias vs. Jóvenes Promesas,” the Senior Men’s Basketball Tournament, the CardTournament, the 3×3 Beach Basketball, and the Latin Sailboat Regatta in coordination with the Insular Federation of Fuerteventura Skiffs.
In addition to all these events, visitors can enjoy the Fairground attractions from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00p.m. every day during the festivities. The fair is located in the area adjacent to the José Perdomo Umpiérrez Pavilion, with reduced prices of 1€ for all attractions on July 13th and 17th.
The town of Corralejo will bid farewell to its grand festivities with the traditional popular barbecue accompanied by the music of Aires de Mascona on Sunday, July 23rd, at 6:00 p.m. at Muelle Chico in Corralejo.
The Festejos Department (@laolivafestejos) will provide daily updates on the planned activities andany modifications through its social media channels.
Friday, July 14:
🕚 11:00 a.m.: Children’s Games and activities at Muelle Chico.
🕕 6:00 p.m.: Women’s Basketball Match “Viejas Glorias vs. Jóvenes Promesas” at the José Perdomo Umpiérrez Pavilion.
🕡 6:30 p.m.: Children’s afternoon with performances and music at Avenida Ntra. Sra. del Carmen.
🕘 9:00 p.m.: First Verbena with the groups Kandela and Banda Larga at Avenida Ntra. Sra. del Carmen.
Saturday, July 15:
🕦 11:30 a.m.: Latin Sailboat Regatta at Playa del Muelle Chico. 🏀 Basketball tournament finals at the José Perdomo Umpiérrez Pavilion.
🕤 9:30 p.m.: Queen Election Gala with performances at Avenida Ntra. Sra. del Carmen.
Sunday, July 16:
🕔 5:00 a.m.: Diana floreada (musical parade) through the streets. 🕛
12:00 p.m.: Maritime-terrestrial religious function in honor of Ntra. Sra. del Carmen, followed by a musical performance at Muelle Chico.
Monday, July 17:
🎈 Activities and workshops for children at Avenida Ntra. Sra. del Carmen.
Tuesday, July 18:
🕗 8:00 p.m.: Eucharist and Nocturnal Procession accompanied by the Drum and Bugle Band of the Soria Regiment No. 9, followed by a musical performance and fireworks at Muelle Chico.
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Changes and amendments
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If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints regarding this Policy, the information we hold about you, or if you wish to exercise your rights, we encourage you to contact us using the details below:
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