Everyone knows the great devotion of Bilbao and Biscay to the Virgin of Begoña, whose feast is celebrated on October 11. Both, on this day and on August 15, thousands of pilgrims come to the Basilica of Begoña from all corners of Biscay, some walking all night, to place themselves at the feet of their Mother (Amatxu).
Once in Bilbao, from the Old Part we will go up to Begoña by the stairs of Mallona. The temple remains open all night so that the pilgrims who are arriving can pray the Novena and accompany the Amatxu of Begoña. In addition, masses are celebrated every hour, highlighting the High Mass at 12 noon on August 15, celebrated by the Bishop and attended by the authorities of the City of Bilbao.
The festive day is completed with a visit to the souvenir stalls and saint cards of the Virgin of Begoña and replenishing strength in the kiosks (txoznas) where the traditional txakoli (basque white wine), talo and the classic donuts are served.
The capes of the Virgin
According to the writings, the Virgin of Begoña was covered for the first time at the beginning of the 16th century.
The size is usually identified with the white cape with which it is dressed in August, preceding the feast of the Assumption of Mary. However, throughout the liturgical year it is covered on two other occasions. At Pentecost, a beautiful maroon velvet cape is placed on her, while on December 8, the day of the Immaculate Conception, a beautiful light blue cape is placed on her.