Torremolinos in Spain’s Costa del Sol is a hugely popular holiday destination for numerous reasons, not least its range of wonderful festivals and superb cuisine. Here’s a round-up of some unmissable events taking place in the next few months…
The Feria del Carmen (Virgin of Mount Carmel fair) in mid-July attracts thousands of people to La Carihuela, especially on the day that the image of the Virgin is placed on a boat for a trip along the municipal waterfront. The fiesta centres on the El Remo plaza, where there are musical performances and an extremely wide variety of dances.
In late September Torremolinos seems to be one big pilgrimage, that of San Miguel, which is held in the nearby pine groves of Los Manantiales. It is considered the second largest in terms of participants (more than 200,000) in all of Andalusia, after that of El Rocío. The entourage, with numerous carts that have been profusely decorated for the occasion and an even larger number of people on horseback, leaves the city centre en route to Los Manantiales amid the exclamations of tourists, who do not hesitate to inquire about what they are seeing.
The pilgrims camp next to the chapel of San Miguel, which can’t come close to holding all the people who want to hear Mass inside the church, and once religious ceremony concludes the party begins and lasts until dark. Singing, dancing and good food are at the heart of this massively attended pilgrimage.
The Feria de San Miguel (Fair of San Miguel, patron saint of Torremolinos) begins a few days later. As in a number of other localities in Málaga it is held in the centre of the city during daylight hours and at night at the fairgrounds, where practically all the collectives in Torremolinos and many private individuals set up booths. In spite of the thousands of tourists that come to it, the Feria de San Miguel has preserved an unmistakable Andalusian character, which has been even more pronounced in recent times because there is an earnest effort to keep the old traditions from being lost.
The town also is a beehive of activity on the Día del Turista (Tourist’s Day), which was initiated some years ago to show gratitude to the visitors who have chosen to spend their vacations in Torremolinos. The most outstanding events on that day are the folklore performances, gastronomy samplings and the selection of the Tourist of Honour. It does not unnoticed in Torremolinos when it comes to mounting tourist promotional campaigns that “pescaíto” is one of the greatest attractions. Therefore on the first Thursday in October it celebrates the “Día del Pescaíto” (Pescaíto day), in which the local restaurants hand out servings of pescaíto to both tourists and residents of Torremolinos.
The Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Torremolinos got off to a late start (1924) in comparison to other localities in Málaga. It began with the foundation of the cofradía (brotherhood) of Nuestro Padre Jesús y María Santísima de los Dolores (Our Father Jesus and Holy Mary of the Sorrows), whose headquarters is in the Madre del Buen Consejo parish church. The brotherhood performs its processional march on Good Friday.
The event calendar also includes a summer film festival, “Torremolinos de Cine,” screening family movies by the sea in July and August, whereas “Friends of Vintage Cars,” in the context of the Fair of San Miguel, is one of the leading car lover gatherings in Andalusia and Spain. Car lovers meet to admire unusually elegant vehicles of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, parading from Plaza de Blas Infante to the Chapel of San Miguel. A flower offering for the patron saint is left in the chapel, and then everybody gets ready for a cookout. “Friends of Vintage Cars” draws higher numbers of visitors every year. 30% of participating cars belong to people living in Torremolinos.
In August, Torremolinos holds its traditional Flamenco Festival, whose 20thedition was in 2008. It’s one of the oldest festivals of its kind in Málaga Province, gathering a constellation of flamenco stars every year.
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For more info, visit Costa del Sol Tourist Board
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