To celebrate the island’s Patron Saint, the Virgen de la Peña there is a local bank holiday on the second or third Friday of September each year.
In 2022 the bank holiday was on Friday 16 September.
On this day, many thousands of local people walk from their town or village towards the village of Vega de Rio Palma, south of Betancuria on a pilgrimage to the church of the Virgen de la Peña.
Most people head for Antigua and then walk over the mountain to Betancuria and then walk down the dry valley to Vega de Rio Palma. The pilgrims walk all day and into the night.
At around 5pm in the afternoon there is the main pilgrimage from just south of Betancuria, where there is a parade of locals in traditional costume, camels, donkeys and decorated carts.
During the evening people queue at the church to pay their respect to the patron saint., and there is a church service.
There are lots of stalls selling products, food and drink. Local groups sing traditional songs on a stage throughout the night. There is a fireworks display at 1am, followed by an all night dance until 6am.
For those who choose not to walk there is a special, continual public bus service ferrying people between Antigua and Vega de Rio Palma which runs all evening and through most of the night.