São João Baptista (St. John the Baptist) is one of the most popular feasts of pilgrimage on the island of Santo Antão. The feast takes place between 23 and 25 June in the city of Porto Novo, culminating on June 23rd with a pilgrimage to a place named Ribeira das Pombas where the sacred and the secular mix together. By the sound of drums, whistles and voices that invite to dance (Kola San Jon) which is characterized by belly button touching in a repetitive and continuous movement, colored by the rosaries, the painted vessels and other artifacts.”Kola San Jon” is an expressive and performing practice that is combined with the religious component of the party.
Other religious feasts are also celebrated in Santo Antão, namely Santa Cruz on May 3rd, in a place called Coculi, Santo António das Pombas on June 13th in Paul, São Pedro on June 29th at Chã d’Igreja, Nossa Senhora da Piedade on August 15th in Janela, Nossa Senhora do Livramento on September 24th in Ponta do Sol, and Nossa Senhora do Rosário on October 7th in the city of Ribeira Grande. Carnival is also celebrated with special charm in Paul and Ponta do Sol.