It is allegedly said that the small and tanned statue of the Virgin Mary was part of the goods of a Portuguese galleon that was sailing on the waters near the coast of Motril. Caught by a sudden, violent storm that threatened to sink the ship, the sailors had to arrive to the beach. Then, they sailed back again, the weather worsened and the waves lashed the ship. The scared, Portuguese people prayed and prayed and the weather calmed down. This was seen as a manifestation of the will of the Virgin to stay in that sacred place. When they were on dry land, a huge number of madonna lilies - Spanish name for “azucenas” and hence its name - started to flower. They chose the highest part of the town, the hill, to build a hermitage for the Virgin to be placed. Since then, the Virgin of la Cabeza protects inhabitants of Motril.
In mid-August, on 15th August the Ascension of the Virgin is celebrated together with the Patron Saint fiestas of the Virgin de la Cabeza. These days are great for inhabitants of the town and people can enjoy a great variety of religious ceremonies, fairground rides for children and adults, traditional local stands with music, concerts and performances, and sport activities.
The town is hustle and bustle of people. In the square called “La Coronación”, the so-called “Feria de Día” is celebrated. Here you will have the opportunity to enjoy the most famous local tapas, the traditional dishes of migas and espichás together with the cooling typical alcoholic drink: rebujito. At night, you will have fun in the ferial (area of the town where the fairground is located and where you can reach by taking the bus). Everybody can enjoy from flamenco to music for the youngsters. Famous singers perform in the main stand where there are also different performances every night.
In the religious area, it should be highlighted the floral offer to the Virgin of La Cabeza. The park of Pueblos de América is the perfect landscape for this ceremony and thousands of local people show their devotion to the Virgin by offering her flowers. The greatest day takes place with the procession of the Patron Saint around the main streets of Motril.
The whole week ends with an amazing fireworks display in the Poniente beach.