Last Tuesday San Pedro del Pinatar celebrated one of its most important and traditional festivals, the pilgrimage by land and sea in honour of the Virgen del Carmen, in which fishermen and the faithful, accompanied by thousands of residents and visitors, move the icon from San Pedro del Pinatar to Lo Pagán.
The festivity, the celebration of which dates back 127 years, began at 7am on Tuesday morning with a procession through the streets of San Pedro del Pinatar and then Lo Pagán, followed an hour later by the traditional mass in the Plaza de la Constitución, officiated over by the parish priest of San Pedro, Fr Roberto Burgos.
In spite of the intense heat, hundreds of people took part in the pilgrimage that left from San Pedro Apóstol church at 9am to the port of Lo Pagán, making stops along the way at many of the public altars established along the route and where the hymn the Salve Marinera was sung, the song of the seas and also the anthem of fishermen and of the Spanish Navy.
The acting president of the Autonomous Community, Fernando López Miras, the mayor of San Pedro del Pinatar, Visitación Martínez, and the Senior patron of the Fishermen’s Association, Jesús Antonio Gómez, led the land procession, along with representatives of the Virgen del Carmen Association and other civil and military dignitaries.
The traditional ‘tronaera’, announced the entrance of the Virgin in the Port of Lo Pagán, thereby ending its journey over land.
The boat Adelina, skippered by Juan José Pardo López, of the fishermen’s association of San Pedro, was commissioned to carry the image of the Virgen del Carmen during her journey through the Mar Menor. The Virgin was escorted by hundreds of fishing and recreational boats, extensively decorated for the occasion and full of worshipers who, after a traditional prayer, threw carnations into the water in memory of those who had died at sea.
After the commemoration, la Patrulla Águila, the Eagle Patrol from San Javier Air Academy, joined the celebration with a spectacular acrobatic display over the ‘Star of the Seas’. The fish market then held a mass in honour of the Virgin, before she was transferred to the church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen in Lo Pagán.
The day ended at dawn on Wednesday morning with the procession back from the parish of Lo Pagán to San Pedro del Pinatar.