The Fiestas del Carmen program will include a wide variety of events for everyone. Aquatics, sports, youth and children’s activities, funfair, concerts, even the now traditional “lowering of the branch” a ritual offering dating back to pre-Christian conquest, and of course the main “Romería” pilgrimage processions; all topped off by the annual highlight of maritime processions between Arguineguín and Puerto de Mogán.
“La Virgen del Carmen” is the patron saint of sailors, and her feast day is observed in the main Mogán fishing towns of Arguineguín and Puerto de Mogán. The maritime procession and religious service close the annual celebrations which include a variety of events, with one of the highlights being the “Bajada de la Rama” (the lowering of the branch) a tradition unique to the islands, embodied most fervently in the northwest of Gran Canaria’s eponymous annual fiestas in Agaete each August, but nowadays prevalent in so many other island fiestas in coastal communities, whereby a tree branch is carried through the streets, to the sound of music and revelry, before being lowered into the sea as a prayer for autumn rains and for fertility.
The major event of the celebrations, and the most famous, is the annual maritime procession, when the statue of Our Lady The Virgin is taken from the port of Arguineguín to the port of Mogán followed by a huge array of fishing boats and leisure craft, with a return journey being completed the following Sunday.
On that day, sailors and fishermen decorate their boats, in order to celebrate their big day to the rhythm of the music bands, the noise of the motors of the boats and the sound of people enjoying themselves. The most picturesque part of this procession is when the two statues meet on arrival to the fishing port of Mogán. Afterwards there is a procession up to the town square, where there is dancing to the live brass band, and later the procession returns to their starting point. (In the past, the following week the festivities have continued in Playa de Mogán, also in honor of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, following the same maritime route but in the other direction, from Puerto de Mogán to Arguineguín.)
The main Romería, the pilgrimage to the Virgen del Carmen de Arguineguín is one of the events that attract a lot of residents and visitors.