Every July 16th, the people of Camariñas celebrate their patron saint with passion and devotion. The preparations start already the day before, with the decoration of their boats with flags and ribbons
Celebrations start early in the morning with the ancient and colourful Danza de Arcos. The dancers are concentrated in the Concello square, where they play music and dance along the promenade towards the Carme square, right in front of the port. The next stop is the San Xurxo church, from where they take the Saint’s image and carry it to the small chapel of Carme, closer to the sea. This chapel houses another small saint statue that will come out in procession with the boats.
After the open-air mass in the port, the traditional maritime procession begins. Every year, one of the ships of the local fleet is chosen to carry the saint statue, escorted by other vessels filled with hundreds of locals living this occasion with real excitement.
Several miles away from port, at the start of the ria, the boats are arranged in a circle to make a floral offering in honour of those lost at sea, amidst the incessant sound of horns. Once the boats finish circling around the bouquets thrown to the water, the fleet sets off to the port of Muxía, There, with hundreds of people waiting for them, the Danza de Arcos dancers repeat their routine.
Once on their way back to Camariñas, the festive procession approaches the port of Merexo to blow their horns once again, followed by the firing of fireworks.
One of the most emotional moments of this maritime celebration is when the virgin’s statue is taken back to port and put under the colourful vaulted arches.